By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
3-year-old hailed a hero for saving her fathers life
Placeholder Image
A three-year-old Manteca girl is being called a “hero” after she ran some two blocks to get firemen to help her dad who, she said, was “frozen” and wouldn’t wake up.

“She didn’t just walk up and knock on our door,” one firefighter said.  “She is quite the little trooper – very poised and totally in control.”

The Friday noon trauma began in the 1100 block of Crestwood Avenue, some two blocks north of Manteca Fire Station 243 located on the corner of Louise Avenue, when she became frightened because her daddy wouldn’t talk to her or open his eyes.

Little Alesaundra Tafoya had been a passenger in the family car many times as it passed the north central Manteca fire station.  Her mother said she had repeatedly told her daughter that the firemen are her friends and they are there to help if she ever needs them.

Alesaundra made it to the parking lot behind the fire station where she was noticed by members of the Alcoholics Anonymous support group that meets in a building nearby.

 Concerned with her being by herself and visibly confused with her surroundings, members listened to her pleas and then took her into the fire station where she asked the firefighters to help her dad.

Captain Robert Vilalovoz and fireman Brian Swift walked the girl hand-in-hand back up the side street to find her house and her dad.  Firefighter Bob Jacobson jumped in a fire truck housed in the station and headed up Crestwood Avenue.

The firemen located a non-responsive Frank Tafoya in a chair in the living room of the family’s residence.  Doctors were quoted later as saying the man likely would have died had not the firemen arrived and had him transported to an area hospital where he was treated and later released.

Tafoya was quoted as saying he had mistakenly taken medications that were prescribed to be taken at bedtime, not at noon.  He said he believed that he had just collapsed.

Captain Vilalovoz said that in his 20 years with the fire department he has never witnessed a child, as young as Alesaundra , search out firefighters to help a family member.

The Manteca Fire Department is planning to give Alesaundra a fitting “hero’s commendation” in the near future.