Wisconsin Firefighter Rescued by Boy He Saved

Mondovi Firefighter Jim Rud found himself in danger and in a stroke of luck was rescued by a boy he helped save three years ago.


Earlier this year, a Mondovi volunteer firefighter found himself in danger and in a stroke of luck was rescued by a boy he helped save three years ago.

Firefighter Jim Rud and 13-year-old Tanner Franson recently shared their story with WEAU-TV.

This summer, Rud was mowing around Mirror Lake when his mower tipped over and fell on top of him, sending him into the water.

"The first second I was thinking: 'Good I'm not hurt,' but then as the water started coming back up I was worried I was going to drown then all I could think was what my wife and kids were gonna do," he told the news station.

At that point he began yelling for help.

Franson was with his friends at a nearby park when a woman started screaming and called 911 about a person in the lake.

The boys acted quickly, jumping into the water and pulling the mower off of Rud.

"It was kind of scary, it was a life or death situation," Tanner said.

Three years ago, their roles were reversed when Rud responded with an EMS crew after Franson suffered a stroke after playing in the snow.

The veteran firefighter took the boy to the hospital that day in early December.

Rud was surprised when he learned that Franson was among those that saved his own life.

"I saw Tanner a few weeks later at a football game and I just said something to him about how him and I were even," he joked. "When you live in a small town most of us end up being connected anyway. You never know who you might help today; you might be on the other end of it, next week, next month, three years later you never know."

Both Rud and Franson say they share a special bond after saving each other from potentially fatal situations.