If I hadn’t received instruction that morning, I likely would have been a 27-year-old widow.

Just two years ago, while living in Washington State, my 26-year-old husband collapsed in our kitchen without warning. During his fall, he hit his head on the counter and ended up in a slouched position, wedged between our island and counters.

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When I dialed 911 and told the operator what had happened, she instructed me to lay him flat on the ground and begin chest compressions immediately. In a panicked state, I told the dispatcher that I didn’t feel comfortable moving him because I thought he had suffered a neck injury and didn’t want to risk paralyzing him. What I did not know was that paralysis should have been my last concern, because my husband was dead. If the 911 dispatcher hadn’t told me that, and urgently instruct me to begin hands-only CPR, I can’t say that I would have.

The 911 dispatcher counted out 1, 2, 3, 4 over and over, and told me to count out loud with her as I performed compressions. Every time my counting slowed, she instructed me keep going. After almost 9 minutes of chest compressions EMS arrived. Keep in mind that for every minute without CPR administered, his chances of survival would have dropped by 10%, making their instruction all the more important.

My husband has since made a full recovery. I was able to give him a fighting chance, but only because the 911 dispatcher told me how. If I hadn’t received that instruction that morning, I likely would have been a 27-year-old widow.

There shouldn’t be better odds of survival based on where you live in the state of Ohio. When you call 911 during an emergency situation, you should have confidence that the dispatcher will know how to assist you.

We know that immediately beginning hands-only CPR can double or even triple a person’s chance of survival. 911 dispatchers are the critical link to equal opportunity of survival.

I recently shared my family's story before the Ohio House Finance Subcommittee on Public Safety in support of a proposal that would require 911 operators to be certified in telecommunicator CPR instruction.

I'm asking you to take 30 seconds now to send your message urging Ohio lawmakers to support this common sense effort. The life of someone you love might someday depend on it.

With Heart,

Lauren Yedlick
Hilliard, OH

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