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Law Requiring Telecoms to Learn CPR Could Save Lives, Official Says

The American Heart Association lobbied for a new law to train 911 dispatchers to help bystanders administer CPR. 

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The lobby of a North Texas auto repair shop turned into a classroom Saturday to teach hands-only CPR in response to a new law that will require telecommunicators to be trained in the life-saving maneuver.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) signed House Bill 786 in May. It goes into effect Sept. 1. Operators at 911 call centers will be able to tell bystanders, step by step, how to do chest-only CPR.

“We’re very fortunate we were able to get this bill through and we went to Austin and advocated for this. It’s going to be so critical and so important to saving lives,” said Diana Rivas-Smith, Vice President, Gala, at the American Heart Association.  

The American Heart Association put on the event at Caliber Auto Care in Arlington.

“This is a repair shop. People are probably thinking, 'I’m going into a repair shop to learn CPR training?'” Director of Marketing for Caliber Auto Care Thomas Piland said. “Especially given the change in the law, this is really important to help get the word out, educate our communities, and keep them safe."

Saturday’s event prepared people to jump into action in case of an emergency. 

According to the American Heart Association, about 90% of people who go into cardiac arrest outside a hospital die.

CPR can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival.

The American Heart Association has CPR resources on its website.

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