Joe Grafft receives Paul Harris Award

Nw_JoeGrafft2Joe Grafft has a long list of accomplishments and has received several honors for his contributions in the emergency medical services field.

The Forest Lake Rotary Club added one more when they chose Grafft this summer to receive the 2014 Paul Harris Award.

Named for the Chicago attorney who founded the Rotary International service organization in 1905, the award is given each year by the local chapter to a Rotary Club member who has donated to the community.

Now vice president and senior instructor at Customized Safety Training, a company he runs with his wife Kathy, Grafft has been a nationally registered emergency medical technician since 1974. He has a master’s degree in health and emergency medical services management.

Grafft taught high school for 18 years in Spring Lake Park, served two years as emergency medical services director at the former District Memorial hospital in Forest Lake, then worked 15 years as Emergency Medical Services Manager at the Office of the Chancellor, Minnesota State Collegees and Universities.

During his long career, Grafft has assumed many leadership roles. He is currently the Emergency Cardiovascular Care chair for the American Heart Association in Minnesota and for 13 years has served on the board of directors for the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians.

He is a textbook author, community faculty member at Metropolitan State University and speaker at many national conferences. From 2000 to 2011 he served on the Forest Lake school board. In 2004 he received the On Behalf of Youth award presented by the Lakes Area Youth Service Bureau.

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