Lance Hoffrage, Paramedic of the Year

VFW honors those in Madera who have gone an extra mile to serve neighbors


At its annual Community Awards Dinner, local Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1981 honored 11 people in nine categories.  Merits of recipients ranged from life-saving accomplishments to writing and speaking well. Post Commander Bill Jones introduced attending honorees to about 170 people during the VFW’s monthly social on Thursday after dinner.  Friends and families of recipients cheered them on as they walked onstage to receive their awards.  “We’re a family oriented post so this is what it’s all about,” said Jones.

The Paramedic of the Year Lance Hoffrage knows first hand what helping people directly is all about. Hoffrage, who has been a paramedic for Pistoresi Ambulance for 15 years, resuscitated Madera resident Carol Adams after she had a heart attack  in her home last July. “Lance was there within four minutes after the call came in.  He came in and found her really, clinically dead.  She was not breathing, she had no heart beat.  So they started CPR, they started an IV, put an airway down, defibrillated her three times and on the third defibrillation he got a pulse back,” said Monte Pistoresi, owner of Pistoresi ambulance.   Adams hugged, kissed and thanked Hoffrage onstage.

Recipients were as follows: Voice of Democracy essay and speech winner Alejandra Galindo; Patriot Pen Essay winners Gabriela Hernandez and Jasmine Castillo; Teacher of the Year Linda Ogle; Student scholarship winner Kevin Bursey; Boy Scout of the Year Kristofer Padilla; Law Enforcement of the Year Madera Sheriff Josefina Roderick:  Firefighter of the Year Joseph Maleski

Paramedic of the Year Lance Hoffrage; Madera Tribune Employees of the Year Tami Jo Nix and Wendy Alexander.  Galindo, a sophomore at Madera High School, was joined onstage by her history teacher Mike Hinton who is a former two-time Teacher of the Year honoree. She was presented an award and stipend.  Castillo,  who was one of the two winners for the elementary school essay contest, also won first place in District 11 which is comprised of Kerman, Chowchilla, Fresno, Mariposa, Madera and Biola.  

 Another local and district winner was Boy Scout of the Year Padilla. Padilla’s win in the district automatically makes him eligible to compete statewide, said VFW member Ramiro Gutierrez.  The Madera High School senior collected more than 800 suitcases in a drive he organized last year to donate luggage to foster home children.  Padilla’s community service project fulfilled requirements to become an Eagle Scout.  “When foster kids are removed from their homes a lot of times they’re forced to put their things in plastic trash bags because that’s all they have to carry their stuff,” said  Padilla. “So I chose to do this project because I wanted to help people more directly.”

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