SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Fact: Heart disease remains the number one killer of Americans and Utahns. Nearly 1,500 (1,417) out-of-hospital cardiac arrests occur in Utah each year. Yet, only about 1 in 10 of these Utahns will survive. The good news, CPR, especially if performed immediately, could double or triple a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival – Bystander CPR can mean the difference between life and death.

“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 has a new administrative rule requiring high-quality telecommunicator CPR (T-CPR). Telecommunicators, including dispatchers and emergency call takers, work with the 9-1-1 caller to identify a victim in cardiac arrest and provide initial care by delivering CPR instructions while quickly dispatching emergency medical services. Through these actions, again, the telecommunicator can make the difference between life and death.

In addition, Senate Bill 192 restores funding for and defines CPR training in state code as a requirement to be taught in high school health classes. This law will train the next generation of lifesavers in how to perform CPR. This law goes into effect in the upcoming 2022-2023 school year.

”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 how you can help in a cardiac arrest emergency, visit: Watch the Hands-Only CPR instructional video and share it with the important people in your life.