New Indiana law requires phone CPR training for 911 dispatchers

Indiana News

NOBLESVILLE, Ind. (WISH) — In the coming months, every 911 dispatcher in the state will be trained to guide callers through CPR over the phone.

That’s the goal of new legislation that Gov. Eric Holcomb recently signed into law.

Lakisha Goins is in her element at work. She’s helped countless people over her more than 10 years as a 911 dispatcher.

“It’s exhilarating,” Goins said Monday. “I love the fact that I never know what I’m walking into.” 

She knows how to help people who call in on the worst days of their lives.

“Oh, I feel a little bit of anxiety for myself, just because trying to convince … because a lot of times, people are very nervous about trying to perform CPR on someone else,” Goins said. “Even if it is a loved one. So I just try to reassure them keep them calm, let them know I’m here with them.”

The bill Holcomb signed into law requires 911 dispatchers to become trained in telephone CPR. 

“In some of the more rural areas, it can be quite a time before an emergency crew arrives on scene. If we can get CPR started immediately, it increases the chances of survivability for an individual suffering a heart attack or cardiac arrest,” said Jeff Schemmer, the executive director of Hamilton County Public Safety Communications.

Schemmer said his team is already trained in telephone CPR and has been for at least 10 years.

“We have to have 24 hours a year to keep up our certification,” Schemmer explained. “So, there’s a lot of classes we have to continually go through whenever they update protocol.” 

Goins showed the step-by-step CPR cards that dispatchers read aloud to callers, organized by the age of the person who needs CPR. 

“I think that’s awesome (that dispatchers statewide will train in phone CPR),” Goins said. “There’s such a big significance in doing CPR, even if we are over the phone.” 

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