Hector Almodovar, Jr. of Newburgh was presented the Liberty Medal by Senator James Skoufis at Balmville Elementary School for his quick life saving actions that saved a young student’s life. The Liberty Medal is recognized as the highest civilian honor that can be awarded by New York State.
“The Liberty Medal has to go through a very rigorous, multi layered approval process. The State Senate Majority Leader and the Secretary of the Senate, a whole bunch of people have to sign off on this, because this is reserved for constituents, individuals here in New York State that go so far above and beyond that they deserve this rare Liberty award. And so Hector did just that,” Skoufis said in his opening remarks.
Back in April, Almodovar, Jr, a school lunch monitor/security guard at Balmville and a retired 25 member of the NYPD, was going about his usual duties when he saw Balmville student Ariana Miranda, a fifth grader at the time, choking on an orange that she had eaten.
Immediately reacting to the situation, Almodovar, Jr performed the Heimlich maneuver three times to remove the orange. No other adults that were present in the room knew how to administer the Heimlich maneuver; and if not for Almodovar, Jr’s quick response, the situation would have been different. Miranda is now a happy and healthy sixth grader, and Almodovar, Jr is still at Balmville protecting all of his students. Almodovar, Jr was also presented a Life Saving Award on behalf of the Town of Newburgh Board back in May for his quick actions during that day.