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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Julie Sandstede (DFL)

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RELEASE: Rep. Sandstede earns AHA’s Heart Health Policy Champion Award for Telephone CPR bill

Thursday, July 11, 2019

SAINT PAUL, Minn. – State Rep. Julie Sandstede (DFL – Hibbing) has received the American Heart Association’s “Heart Healthy Policy Champion” Award for her advocacy during the 2019 Legislative Session. Rep. Sandstede was chief author of HF 1520, a bill to require 911 dispatchers to be trained in the delivery of CPR instruction over the telephone or alternatively, transfer the call to someone who is trained.

The legislation was signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz as part of the Omnibus Public Safety and Judiciary Finance bill.

“Many dispatchers are trained to provide this instruction, but too many aren’t. In rural areas, where first responders can have a long distance to travel, and when someone is experiencing cardiac arrest, seconds count,” said Rep. Sandstede. “I’m grateful to the American Heart Association for this award, but I’m more grateful for their advocacy in helping this legislation become law. I’m confident this will save lives.”

Rep. Sandstede received the award during a June 24 event in Minneapolis honoring the American Heart Association’s volunteers and advocates. Joining her were Ashley and Andrew Goette of West St. Paul, whose story helped inspire the legislation.

In October 2018, Ashley was 39 weeks pregnant and one night, she attempted to get Andrew to stop snoring but quickly discovered he was having difficulty breathing. She called 911 and the dispatcher quickly identified that he was undergoing cardiac arrest, and started to provide CPR instructions. The dispatcher calmly assisted her with the instructions on delivering chest compressions, even with some physical difficulty due to the late stage of her pregnancy.

Initially, Ashley had thought these instructions were just a comfort measure from the dispatcher, but when paramedics arrived she quickly learned that her actions, along with the instructions from the dispatcher, may have indeed saved Andrew’s life. Doctors discovered that Andrew – an otherwise healthy 29-year-old – suffered from a rare heart condition. The next day, with Andrew on his way to a full recovery, Ashley entered labor in a hospital bed next to his. Soon after, she delivered a healthy baby boy.

PHOTO: Rep. Julie Sandstede (DFL – Hibbing), center, is joined by American Heart Association staff after she received the group’s 2019 Heart Health Policy Champion Award at a celebration in Minneapolis June 24. [LINK]