Ga. law aims to save lives with CPR coaching by dispatchers

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 11:43 PM EDT
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AUGUSTA, Ga. (WRDW/WAGT) - A new bill signed by Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp is designed to save lives.

It requires all dispatchers to be trained to give CPR instructions by phone.

John Rogers, who’s been teaching CPR for almost 10 years, says time is a key factor.

“Time is of the essence once someone collapses,” said Rogers, the owner of Pulse CPR. “If you could do it in 20-30 seconds, start CPR, would be really good. Sooner if you can, but not much later than that.”

The new measure passed by Georgia lawmakers and signed by the governor would help people start CPR sooner.

It requires dispatchers to be trained in how to coach people through CPR over the phone.

“Typically, CPR is not being administered to people who have cardiac arrests outside of the hospital,” said Ansley Howze, executive director of the American Heart Association.

The association is just one of the groups supporting the bill. Cardiac arrest is the no. 1 killer of Georgians.

“We have about 350,000 people in America each year that go through out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, and only 10 percent of those survive,” Howze said.

The legislation not only requires dispatchers to be knowledgeable but also up-to-date, as it requires them to renew their certification every year.

“Having the dispatchers prepared and know what to do – keeping their certification up – is going to be crucial,” Rogers said.

It will be a while before these changes are in place, so rogers says it’s important for people to know what to do in the meantime.

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