LARGO, Fla. — Would you know what to do if someone around you was having a heart attack? Give CPR and call 911, right?
What if you don't know how to do CPR? You might expect the 911 dispatcher to walk you through it. But, not all of them are trained to. That could change with proposed legislation which would require dispatchers to have training every two years.
Here in the Tampa Bay area, most dispatchers are trained one way or another.
Last year in Largo, a dispatcher knew exactly what to do when 17-year-old Zachary called saying his dad, David Musgraves, had collapsed.
"Last year August 30, I had a massive heart attack and he called 911. And, the dispatcher that answered the phone was trained to do CPR over the phone, and if it wasn't for that I probably wouldn't be standing here right now," David said.
According to the American Heart Association, nearly 350,000 people will suffer an out-of-hospital heart attack, and 90 percent of them will die.
"CPR is the first step and the most critical step and by doing immediate and effective CPR, you can increase the chances of survival by 2-3 fold," said Dr. Robert Sanchez, a member of the AHA Southeast Board of Directors.
That's why the American Heart Association is supporting two bills currently being considered by the Florida legislature that would require dispatchers to get TeleCPR training every two years.
"We are blessed here in the Tampa Bay market that that's the case, but that's not the way it is in other parts of the state and throughout the country."
David said he knows just how important this training is.
"If it wasn't for my son and that dispatcher I would not be here."
Zachary won a bravery award for performing CPR on his dad and saving his life. They said it's all thanks to the dispatcher who calmly talked him through what to do.
You can read the legislation here.
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