Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Minnesota Legislature

Bill aims to ensure 911 dispatchers can give CPR instructions or transfer to someone who can

Last October, Ashley Goette called 911 after discovering her husband was having difficulty breathing.

She received instructions over the phone on how to perform CPR on Andrew until first responders arrived, possibly saving his life.

Immediate CPR by a bystander can triple a heart attack victim’s survival, Rep. Julie Sandstede (DFL-Hibbing) told the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Division Thursday.

She sponsors HF1520 that, by July 1, 2021, would establish training for 911 dispatchers to either provide direction on performing CPR or to transfer emergency calls to a public safety answering point with employees capable of providing such direction.

The division approved the bill, as amended, and sent it the House Ways and Means Committee. Its companion, SF1638, sponsored by Sen. Dan Hall (R-Burnsville), awaits action by the Senate Judiciary and Public Safety Finance and Policy Committee.

Many, but not all, emergency call centers in the state have 911 dispatchers able to provide CPR instructions over the phone, Sandstede said. A yet-to-be-determined amount of money from the General Fund would be provided in the 2020-21 biennium to allow counties to train emergency center staff so such over-the-phone instructions are available statewide.

“Death is almost certain” without quick CPR and defibrillation for a person experiencing a heart attack outside of a hospital setting, said Lorna Schmidt, government relations director for the American Heart Association. “This makes the actions of bystanders critical, especially when you consider that EMS response times can exceed 10 minutes in many parts of the state.”

Goette said it took nearly 10 minutes for first responders to arrive at their home in West Saint Paul. “In those minutes, having someone tell me what to do, how to help my husband, was everything to me,” she said. “The doctors told me Andrew wouldn’t have survived without it.”

The bill would protect 911 dispatchers from legal liability if a caller refuses or is unwilling to perform CPR.


Related Articles

Priority Dailies

State Fair poll shows steady support for gun sale background checks, recreational marijuana
Support for criminal background checks on all gun sales and the legalization of marijuana for recreational use appears to have remained steady among Minnesotans during the past 12 months.
Governor signs special session budget bills into law
One week after a marathon special session that saw lawmakers pass most of the major budget bills needed to fund the state’s government over the next two years, Gov. Tim Walz signed the legislation into law.
After sunrise, the sun sets on 2019 special session
It took a grueling special session that stretched past sunrise, but Minnesota lawmakers completed their work early Saturday morning on passing a new two-year state budget.
House DFL outlines $47.8 billion 2020-21 spending proposal
The plan, dubbed the “Minnesota Values Budget,” would increase spending by $416.9 million over the 2020-21 biennium’s projected base budget.
Budget forecast: Projected surplus drops by almost $500 million, still tops $1 billion
The state has a $1.05 billion projected budget surplus for the upcoming biennium, Minnesota Management and Budget officials announced Thursday.
Walz budget would raise gas tax, emphasize education, health care
Education, health care and community prosperity are key targets for funding in the 2020-21 biennial budget proposed by Gov. Tim Walz.
Committee deadlines for 2019 unveiled
Legislators and the public officially know the timeline for getting bills through the committee process.

Minnesota House on Twitter