Local Man Honored with F-M Ambulance Citizens Lifesaving Award
Joe Kraft Earned the Honor after helping to save his wife's life
FARGO, N.D. — The morning of February 7th, 2019 started just like any other for Joe and Renae Kraft.
That is, until the unexpected occurred.
“We got up in the morning. She was feeding the little dog and I was feeding the big dog and she just fell over backwards,” Joe Kraft said.
Renae had a heart attack. It was a terrifying moment for Joe to see his wife fall to the floor, but he responded quickly.
“He called 911,” Renae Kraft said. “They told him to hurry up, unlock the doors and get to me and he said there was no response and so they told him to start CPR and he said ‘I don’t know how to do it, I have never done it.'”
Despite that being true, Joe did not hesitate to try.
“911 walked him through it and that is what saved her,” Joe’s daughter Missy Wollman said. “The doctors said ‘this is a miracle, she shouldn’t be here.'”
Because of his heroics on that day, the F-M Ambulance Service recognized Joe with the Citizens Lifesaving Award. Although a very modest man, Joe accepted the honor hoping it would ultimately help others who may find themselves in a position where CPR is needed in order to save a life.
“He agreed to do it because he wants everyone to know how easy it is and that everybody should know how to do it,” F-M Ambulance Paramedic Kristi Englestad said. “So it was really neat to give him the award because he wasn’t looking for any praise at all. He is just very thankful that Renae is still here.”
It was CPR that helped saved Renae’s life and it can help save so many others as well.
“Eighty percent of Cardiac arrests happen in their own homes so it is most likely going to be somebody that you love that you are going to be doing CPR on,” Englestad said. “And CPR can actually double or triple the chance of survival for somebody in cardiac arrest. Everybody should know CPR because you never know when something like this could happen in your own house.”
Joe, of course, had no idea something like this would ever happen to him and his family, but it has certainly put things into perspective.
“I’m thankful everything worked out the way it did and don’t take so much for granted anymore,” Kraft said.