Bill requires S.C. 911 operators to be able to give CPR instructions


The American Heart Association is applauding the passage of a South Carolina policy named Telecommunicator CPR. On Monday, May 20, Gov. Henry McMaster officially signed a bill requiring all S.C. 911 operators to be trained in Telecommunicator CPR and be able to provide instructions over the phone to persons aiding a victim during an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

"This T-CPR training requirement for telecommunicators will make an impact on the survival rate of people experiencing cardiac arrests and minimize the negative neurological outcomes," said Dr. Bear Coney, cardiologist with the Medical University of South Carolina, Columbia, and board member of the American Heart Association, Midlands, in a news release. "This is an important step in improving the cardiovascular health of all South Carolinians."

Only about 1 in 10 victims survive cardiac arrest, according to the American Heart Association. 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.

"CPR needs to be immediately initiated in all cases of cardiac arrest," said Crystal Kirkland, executive director of the American Heart Association, Midlands, in the release. "No one should be left without assistance while trying to rescue their loved one, friend or neighbor, and with the passage of the T-CPR bill, all our emergency dispatchers will be able to offer this assistance."

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