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Funeral home family wants to save lives

Tomahawk, Wis. (WAOW) — The family behind a Northwoods funeral home wants to help their community stay alive.

Karen Gauerke is the funeral director at Krueger Family Funeral Home. “I do everything,” she said. “From paperwork to – if someone passes away – going to homes, nursing homes or an accident.”

In a business that deals with death, Karen said she serves the living. “Our business really is helping people,” she said.

That runs in her family. Her grandfather, Emil Krueger, served as a funeral director and ambulance driver. Gauerke said he would often drive patients – in the hearse – to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester. In addition to honoring the dead, he too helped the living.

“Hearing the stories about him,” Guerke said. “It makes me proud to be his granddaughter.”

The Krueger Family Funeral Home is keeping that tradition alive, sponsoring Vital ICE (In Case of Emergency). It’s an app you can download onto your smartphone, providing your vital information to first responders. Gauerke said, “It’s just to help the community and if it saves one or two lives, that would be wonderful.”

Tomahawk Police Chief Al Elvins said that could be “outstanding” for his officers. “We’re normally there before the ambulance service because we’re out in the field,” he said. The chief noted his concern; officers may not be able to access the information if a phone is locked. Through conversations with Guerke he learned users will be able to show their information on their lock screens.

You can learn more about the app here. The code for Tomahawk and the surrounding area is 3808.

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Tom Lally

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