SALT LAKE CITY, August 3, 2022 — A new state administrative rule requiring high-quality telecommunicator CPR (T-CPR) can save lives from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. In addition, a law requiring all high school students to learn CPR before graduation goes into effect during the 2022-23 school year.

Heart disease remains the number one killer of Americans and Utahns. Each year in the United States, an estimated 350,000 people (1,417 Utahns) experience sudden cardiac arrest in out-of-hospital environments. Sudden cardiac arrest is the unexpected loss of heart function, breathing and consciousness and commonly the result of an electric disturbance in the heart. Only about 1 in 10 victims survive this dramatic event. Successful resuscitation of cardiac arrest victims requires immediate response to improve their chance of survival.

Telecommunicators, including dispatchers and emergency call takers, are the true first responders and a critical link in the cardiac arrest chain of survival. Working with the 9-1-1 caller, telecommunicators have the first opportunity to identify a victim in cardiac arrest and provide initial care by delivering CPR instructions while quickly dispatching emergency medical services.

“A telecommunicator who effectively engages the caller, identifies the cardiac arrest, and coaches effective CPR could double or triple the chances of survival from sudden cardiac arrest,” Chad Bittner, M.D., President, American Heart Association Utah Division Board of Directors and Chief Physician Executive, Optum. “Through these actions, the telecommunicator can make the difference between life and death.” 

Utah is also committed to effectively training the next generation of lifesavers. Senate Bill 192 restores funding for and defines CPR training in state code as a requirement to be taught in high school health classes.

”Equipping our children with the knowledge of how to perform CPR will make a significant impact upon them and the individuals they might save,” said Dr. Bittner. "We can substantially increase community lay rescuer CPR with both the new T-CPR rule and Senate Bill 192.”

To learn more about CPR, visit CPR Resources.

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 nearly a century. Connect with us on, Facebook, Twitter or by calling 1-800-AHA-USA1.


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