COLUMBIA, S.C. (May 21, 2024) – The American Heart Association, the world’s leading nonprofit organization focused on heart and brain health for all, applauds the legislation on passage of a South Carolina policy known as Telecommunicator CPR (T-CPR). Governor McMaster officially signed the bill on May 20, 2024, requiring all South Carolina 9-1-1 operators to be trained in T-CPR and be able to provide detailed instructions over the phone to someone aiding a victim during an 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.

“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. “This is an important step in improving the cardiovascular health of all South Carolinians.”

Rates of bystander CPR are at least doubled and result in improved cardiac arrest survival with good neurological outcome when dispatchers provide CPR instructions.[i] This training requirement will significantly impact the health outcomes of South Carolinians 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 Crystal Kirkland, executive director of the American Heart Association, Midlands. “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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About the American Heart Association

The American Heart Association is a relentless force for a world of longer, healthier lives. We are dedicated to ensuring equitable health in all communities. Through collaboration with numerous organizations, and powered by millions of volunteers, we fund innovative research, advocate for the public’s health and share lifesaving resources. The Dallas-based organization has been a leading source of health information for a century. During 2024 - our Centennial year - we celebrate our rich 100-year history and accomplishments. As we forge ahead into our second century of bold discovery and impact our vision is to advance health and hope for everyone, everywhere. Connect with us on heart.orgFacebookX or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.    


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[i] Dainty, KN, Colquitt, B, Bhanji, F, Hunt, EA, Jefkins, T., Understanding the Importance of the Lay Responder Experience in Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest: A Scientific Statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. Vol. 145, No. 17

[ii] Kurz, MC, Bobrow, BJ, Buckingham, J, et. al. Telecommunicator Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation: A Policy Statement from the American Heart Association. Circulation. Vol. 141, No. 12