Skoufis Awards Balmville Cafeteria Monitor/Retired NYPD Officer Liberty Medal for Saving Girl's Life
Hector Almodovar Jr. and Ariana Miranda have become good friends since last April, when he saved her life. Mr. Almodovar is a retired 25-year NYPD Officer who now helps monitor the cafeteria at Balmville Elementary School . Last April Ariana choked on an orange, and he was the only person in the school who knew how to administer the Heimlich maneuver. It took 3 tries to dislodge the piece of orange, and now Ariana is just fine. In fact she had hugs and palm heart-emoji's for him and said that she is very grateful that he was there and feels like he is her protector and defender, as do the other students. He says he feels like Ariana is part of his family, and in fact she and the other Balmville children have always been family to him. Today, Senator James Skoufis awarded Almodovar a rarely given Liberty Medal. It is in fact New York's highest civilian honor. He said that his unimpeachable character was recognized during his time in the force, and clearly shines now in his retirement. Skoufis said to him "Your community and Ariana's family, no doubt, are deeply grateful for your quick thinking and action. With that and on behalf of the 300 million people of New York State, I am honored to award you this Liberty Medal.