On Monday, Governor Walker signed into law a bill that allows trained 911 dispatchers in Wisconsin to give CPR instructions over the phone.

Assembly Bill 654 – This legislation requires that a Public Service Answering Point (PSAP) either have dispatchers trained to give telephone CPR instructions, or to transfer the call to another PSAP that has the trained dispatchers who can. Authored by Senator Jerry Petrowski (R—Marathon) and Representative Treig Pronschinske (R—Mondovi) the bill passed the Assembly on a vote of 95-0 and was concurred by the Senate on a vote of 32-0. It is Act 296.

The American Heart Association reports that a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival falls 10% with each passing minute between cardiac arrest and the start of CPR. When bystander CPR is administered, it doubles and even triples the chance that the victims survive. With this law, 911 dispatchers in Wisconsin will be able to help callers begin bystander CPR immediately on a cardiac arrest victim, as first responders are on the way.

According to Mary Jo Gordon, Chair of the American Heart Association’s Wisconsin Advocacy Committee:

Right now, bystander CPR rates in Wisconsin hover around 19%, but the new law aims to increase that statistic and save more cardiac arrest victims.

We’re grateful to Gov. Walker, the bill’s co-authors Sen. Jerry Petrowski and Rep. Treig Pronschinske as well as all of the legislators who supported it.

For more on this topic, the American Heart Association made a PSA on their YouTube page.