Paradise Hospital Staff Come Together Again to Celebrate the Holidays

BUTTE COUNTY -- Wednesday night, volunteers put on a special Christmas dinner party for staff members of the Feather River Hospital in Paradise.

The first floor of the hospital was damaged and no one knows when it will be back up and running. Many nurses who were working before the fire started are moving away or finding other jobs because they lost their homes.

The party may well have been the last time the group was all together.

Most of the guests at the party were among the 46 nurses who were working at the hospital the day the Camp Fire ignited. Many thought not of themselves but of their patients first and got them out safely before evacuating.

When FOX40 first spoke to nurse Tamara Ferguson she shared her evacuation story. She rounded up mothers who had just given birth.

"I went to my patients' rooms and I said, 'Just grab your baby, we got to go. Just grab your baby, there’s no time,'" Ferguson recalled.

Her story caught the attention of Kelley Rieger, with an organization called Show Me Your Stethoscope. It's a group of thousands of nurses whose mission is to support other nurses.

"Many nurses who were working that day said, 'I just did my job, I didn’t do anything special,'" Rieger said. "But they really did."

Together Ferguson and Rieger came up with the idea to throw a Christmas party for hospital staff, with music, decorations and gifts for the kids.

But more importantly, Ferguson says it’s a distraction, even if only for a few hours. As many of the nurses were saving lives the day the fire started their homes were burning.

"This is our family. So this has been a truly special thing, even though the reality is that they’ll go home to not their homes," Ferguson said.

Rieger said nearly everything was donated, another sign that as much as Paradise has been knocked down its community will be there to lend each other a hand. Show Me Your Stethoscope will be donating and delivering 10,000 medical clothing items and 1,000 stethoscopes over the next few days in Chico to replace what was lost at hospitals and medical centers in the Camp Fire.

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