Governor DeSantis signed a lifesaving policy known as Telecommunicator CPR (T-CPR) into law today. The legislation had previously passed both houses of the Florida Legislature unanimously.
The bill ensures that dispatchers in Florida are trained in how to provide 911 callers with step-by-step CPR instructions over the phone, enabling bystanders to become lifesavers while awaiting EMS arrival. The legislation is supported by the American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all.
“I am thrilled that House Bill 593 – Telecommunicator Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation was signed into law by Governor DeSantis. House Bill 593 is an extremely important piece of legislation because it is good for someone who already knows CPR and for someone who does not because in a moment of panic, we all may need someone to help guide us through the CPR process in order to save a life.” said Representative Trabulsy, bill sponsor.
During cardiac arrest – the unexpected loss of heart function – only about 1 in 10 victims survive. Successful resuscitation of victims requires an immediate response to improve their chance of survival. Telecommunicators, including emergency dispatchers and 911 operators, can be lifesaving coaches when seconds matter.
“Tele-CPR saved my life,” said Terry Lewis, American Heart Association advocate and cardiac event survivor. “My 911 dispatcher was able to guide my wife through the steps of CPR, which kept my heart beating for the eight minutes it took for the first responders to arrive. Tele-CPR now being signed into law as a statewide policy, is going to save the lives of thousands of Floridians. I would like to thank the Florida Legislature and Governor DeSantis for their support of this important life-saving legislation.”
“This is a momentous day,” said Tiffany McCaskill Henderson, Florida Government Relations Director for the American Heart Association. “Lives will be saved as a result of this law, and we certainly thank Governor DeSantis and all the volunteers and legislators who have championed this bill all along.”
“No one should be left without assistance while trying to rescue their loved one, friend or neighbor from cardiac arrest, and I believe all our emergency dispatchers want to offer this assistance. This is an important step in improving the cardiovascular health of all Floridians, and I applaud Representatives Trabulsy and McClure, and Senator Burgess for their leadership on this issue,” added Henderson.
Written by Chris Mims, Regional Vice President of Communications and Marketing for the American Heart Association in the Southeast.