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When Minutes Matter

In Montana emergency services can be up to an hour away depending on where you live.  That is why our emergency dispatchers are so important.  During heart month we salute these folks, often referred to as public safety officers, telecommunication officers, or even as our ‘911 folks.’  These people provide a truly life saving service and deserve to have the training to help them make an even deeper impact. 

The American Heart Association is advocating for all 9-1-1 dispatchers be trained to provide CPR instructions over the phone to those waiting for EMS arrival.  Dispatchers can coach callers with real-time, step-by-step instructions, enabling callers to become lifesavers, all while first responders are on their way.  This process is known as dispatcher-assisted CPR or Telephone-CPR (TCPR).

Cardiac arrest is a leading cause of death, with nearly 326,200 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occurring each year in the United States.  It strikes suddenly and without warning, and what happens in the first few minutes can mean the difference between life and death.  For every minute without CPR, survival from a witnessed cardiac arrest decreases 7-10 percent.  When CPR is initiated a person’s chances of survival triples. 

Please support the AHA and other organizations in Montana looking to make an Administrative Rule change to make this training mandatory for dispatchers in Montana.  To learn more please reach out to Amanda Cahill, amanda.cahill@heart.org

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