Mississippi Passes Lifesaving Telecommunicator CPR Policy

American Heart Association Cheers Board on Emergency Telecommunications Standards and Training’s Support for T-CPR


The Mississippi Board on Emergency Telecommunications Standards and Training (BETST) passed a lifesaving policy known as Telecommunicator CPR (T-CPR). Mississippi 911 operators will now be trained in high-quality “telephone cardiopulmonary resuscitation” and be able to provide detailed instructions over the phone to someone aiding a victim during out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

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 9-1-1 operators, can be lifesaving coaches when seconds matter.

The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, cheered T-CPR’s passage.

“The Mississippi Board of Emergency Telecommunications Standards and Training and the American Heart Association have worked diligently to ensure the heart health of Mississippians is a top priority,” said Terry Wages, Director Mississippi State Fire Academy and BETST board member. “This T-CPR training requirement for telecommunicators will significantly increase the survival rate of cardiac arrest and minimize the negative neurological outcomes. Today is a good day in Mississippi!”

Rates of bystander CPR are at least doubled and result in improved cardiac arrest survival with good neurological outcome when dispatchers provide CPR instructions. This addition to the regulation will significantly impact the health outcomes of Mississippians suffering from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest, allowing telecommunicators to assist callers in identifying cardiac arrest and coaching them to deliver effective, life-saving CPR, ultimately increasing the likelihood of survival by 51%.ii

"CPR needs to be immediately initiated in all cases of cardiac arrest,” said Jennifer Hopping, Executive Director, American Heart Association, Jackson, MS. “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 Mississippians, and I applaud the Mississippi Board of Emergency Telecommunication Standards and Training."

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