Solano County

Solano honors worker for rescue effort, puts parks in spotlight

By From page A1 | June 25, 2014

FAIRFIELD — Solano County is celebrating both its parks and a park ranger who helped rescue a youth from Putah Creek.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday declared July as Parks and Recreation Month. It also honored Park Ranger Assistant Diana Paradis for her rescue effort.

Paradis on May 18 was working at Lake Solano County Park along Putah Creek near Winters, county officials said. A panicked motorist said her boy and a friend were drowning in a stretch of Putah Creek upstream of the park, where the current is swifter. Paradis, though not a lifeguard, left the park with a life ring after making certain others called 911.

The two teen boys were in the creek clinging to vegetation. Paradis threw out the life ring and with the help of another person pulled one boy to shore. The other boy washed farther downstream and was rescued from a small island in the middle of the creek by helicopter.

Paradis said park rangers had received training about a month earlier in the use of floatation devices.

County supervisors on Tuesday had Paradis stand up in the front of the board chambers to applause. Paradis described herself as honored and embarrassed.

“I just did my job,” she said. “It’s nothing that any of the other park staff wouldn’t have done. I want you guys to realize, though I’m standing here, it could have been any of them.”

County Resource Management Director Bill Emlen wrote Paradis a letter of commendation.

“Yours was an example of clear thinking in a stressful situation that prevented what could have been a tragic event,” Emlen wrote.

Then supervisors turned their attention to the county park system. The county has the following parks:

  • Lake Solano County Park, where Putah Creek forms a “lake” as it backs up from the Putah Diversion Dam. The park offers camping, bird watching, hiking, boating and fishing. It has picnic areas, a nature center and RV hookups.
  • Belden’s Landing along Montezuma Slough in Suisun Marsh. It has a fishing pier and boat launch.
  • Lynch Canyon Open Space Park in the hills between Fairfield and Vallejo. It offers hiking, biking and bird watching. Horse riders can use its trails. It has a picnic area.
  • Sandy Beach County Park along the Sacramento River near Rio Vista. It offers camping, fishing and boating. It has RV hookups and picnic areas.

The county is trying to raise the profile of the parks. It has a new county parks logo, with the “S” for Solano looking like a leaf and a blue line under the county name representing the parks’ water features. It has a new brochure urging newcomers to join the 200,000 annual park visitors.

“I think my first camping experience was at Lake Solano,” Supervisor Erin Hannigan said. “That might go for a lot of us who grew up in Solano County.”

The Board of Supervisors quickly and unanimously passed a resolution stating that county parks make the county a more desirable business location and a place for families to live, learn, work and play.

“To the public out there, do your best to enjoy these park assets we have in Solano County,” Board Chairwoman Linda Seifert said.

Barry Eberling at 427-6929 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/beberlingdr.

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling

Barry Eberling has been a reporter with the Daily Republic since 1987. He covers Solano County government, transportation, growth and the environment. He received his bachelors of art degree from the University of California, Santa Barbara and his masters degree in journalism from the University of California, Berkeley.

Discussion | 1 comment

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  • CD BrooksJune 25, 2014 - 7:18 am

    This is a great story. Congratulations to this woman and the County for their training efforts.The one thing municipalities lose when contracting out local areas is responsible, caring employees. City of Fairfield employees were trained in CPR and ongoing training, had a direct line to PD and FD and qualified to do their jobs. Too bad those days are gone.

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