MADISON, Wis. -- A bill aimed at saving lives across the entire state of Wisconsin was introduced in the state Legislature by Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) and Rep. Treig Pronschinske (R-Mondovi). The bill [AB 654, SB 549] focuses on the training of 911 dispatchers in Wisconsin, so each dispatcher can give CPR coaching over the phone.

Across the state, not all 911 dispatchers are trained to provide CPR coaching over the phone. This is critical, because a person’s chance of survival falls 10% with every minute that passes between cardiac arrest and the start of CPR. The American Heart Association reports more than 350,000 cardiac arrests happen nationwide outside of a hospital and bystander CPR is administered in 46% of those incidents. In Wisconsin, more than 6,500 people die annually from cardiac arrest. Establishing statewide CPR coaching for all dispatchers in Wisconsin means CPR can begin more quickly before first responders arrive, increasing a cardiac arrest victim’s chance of survival.

“It was troubling to learn that whether or not someone calling 911 can get CPR guidance is totally dependent on where in the state they are when experiencing a life-threatening emergency,” said Sen. Petrowski. “This bill is important for the health and safety of all residents, but especially for those living in rural areas where crucial minutes can pass as victims and their loved ones wait for first responders to arrive.”

“Our 911 dispatchers are one of the greatest resources we have in a moment of crisis and this bill allows them to have an even greater life-saving impact,” said Rep. Pronschinske. “Sen. Petrowski and I are eager to work with the state Legislature and get this crucial bill passed, so the next cardiac arrest victim in Wisconsin has the greatest possible chance of survival.”

“We’re proud to bring light to this issue and find solutions that improves Wisconsin’s 911 infrastructure and, most importantly, saves lives,” said Ann Dodge, a pediatric cardiology nurse practitioner and chair of AHA’s Wisconsin Advocacy Committee. “We are committed to working tirelessly with our many stakeholders to pass a bill that will ensure 911 CPR coaching is available to all Wisconsin residents.”

Stakeholders that support this bill include the American College of Cardiology Wisconsin chapter, American Red Cross, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and Project ADAM, Professional Ambulance Association of Wisconsin, Professional Firefighters of Wisconsin, Rural Wisconsin Heath Cooperative, SSM Health, Wisconsin APCO, Wisconsin EMS Association and Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association.

Advocates for the American Heart Association are hopeful this bill will receive public hearings in both houses soon.

To join our grassroots efforts on this issue, please visit:

Share This Article