911 Dispatcher Assisted CPR Bill Passes Wisconsin State Senate Supported by the American Heart Association, the bill heads to the Governor

MADISON, Wis. (March 20, 2018) — The Wisconsin State Senate unanimously passed a bill aimed at saving lives across the entire state of Wisconsin. AB 654 focuses on the training of 911 dispatchers in Wisconsin, so each dispatcher is able to give CPR coaching over the phone. This vote comes one month after the Assembly also passed it unanimously and now it heads to the Governor’s desk. Sen. Jerry Petrowski (R-Marathon) co-authored the bill with Rep. Treig Pronschinske (R-Mondovi).

“Providing CPR coaching over the phone during a 911 call saves lives, and this legislation makes that possible everywhere in Wisconsin,” said Sen. Petrowski. “I thank my Senate colleagues for their support of this bill, which is a simple, common-sense way to protect the lives of all Wisconsin residents.”

When a person suffers cardiac arrest, their chance of survival falls 10% with each passing minute before CPR is administered. In Wisconsin, more than 6,000 cardiac arrests happen outside of a hospital each year and  bystander CPR occurs in only about 19% of those cases, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Establishing statewide CPR coaching for all 911 dispatchers in Wisconsin means CPR can begin more quickly before first responders arrive. Bystander CPR can double or even triple the chance of survival and this legislation aims to increase bystander CPR rates with dispatchers able to coach callers through hands-only CPR.

“As a cardiac arrest survivor, I know the importance of starting CPR as soon as possible,” said Mary Jo Gordon, chair of AHA’s Wisconsin Advocacy Committee. “We are grateful to our state lawmakers for passing this legislation, so cardiac arrest victims in Wisconsin are given the best chance of surviving.”

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 Health Cooperative, SSM Health, MCW, Wisconsin APCO, Wisconsin EMS Association and Wisconsin State Fire Chiefs Association.



Approved Legislation


Act-296  Dispatcher Assisted CPR (Pronschinske, Treig) Dispatcher-assisted bystander cardiopulmonary resuscitation and making an appropriation. Passed, 32-0.  Messaged.  

AB-356 EMS Certificate Renewal (Kremer, Jesse) Licensure or certificate renewal for certain emergency medical services personnel and ambulance service providers. Passed, (Voice Vote).  Messaged.  
AB-651 Human Service Vehicle Rules (Kulp, Bob) Modifying Department of Transportation rules relating to human services vehicles. Passed, (Voice Vote).  Messaged.  
AB-678 Emergency Vehicle Obedience (Kleefisch, Joel) Obedience to authorized emergency vehicles operated by law enforcement officers. Passed, (Voice Vote).  Messaged.  

Act-66 Community EMS (Loudenbeck, Amy)  Relating to: community paramedics, community emergency medical technicians, community emergency medical services providers, and services provided by emergency medical technicians. Passed, 12-0.  Messaged

Act-97 Upgrading Service Levels (Harsdorf, Sheila) Relating to: upgrading service levels for ambulances in rural areas.  Passed, 5-0. Messaged

Act-166 Aid to Animals (Cowles, Robert) Relating to: the rendering of first aid to animals by emergency medical technicians or first responders. Passed 5-0. Messaged

Act-229 EMS License Plate Fee (Marklein, Howard) Relating to: special registration plate fees for fire fighter, rescue squad member, and emergency medical technician and first responder special registration plates. Passed 33-0. Messaged

Act-350 EMS License Renewal  (Kremer, Jesse) Relating to: licensure or certificate renewal for certain emergency medical services personnel and ambulance service providers.  Passed 5-0. Messaged