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Georgia Senate committee passes bill to add mandatory CPR training for 911 operators following 11Alive investigation

Reveal Chief Investigator Brendan Keefe reported Tuesday afternoon that the bill had advanced unanimously out of the Georgia Senate Public Safety Committee.

ATLANTA — A Georgia Senate committee has passed a bill overhauling the state's 911 system and training standards following an 11Alive Reveal investigation last year that found dozens of people had been in need of life-saving assistance at Atlanta's airport while 911 operators were expressly barred from giving them.

Reveal Chief Investigator Brendan Keefe reported Tuesday afternoon that the bill had advanced unanimously out of the Georgia Senate Public Safety Committee.

The 22-page bill would, among a number of new reforms, "provide for Next Generation 911 systems and services," and "revise training requirements for communication officers."

RELATED: Hair stylists require 37 times more training than 911 dispatchers in Georgia

Specifically, the revised training requirements would include mandatory telephone-CPR training and annual in-service training for all 911 operators.

The Reveal investigation from last year found that since 2019, at least 45 people have required CPR or suffered cardiac arrest at the airport. Officials confirmed seven of those people were eventually "brought back" and later discharged from the hospital - but wouldn't confirm what had ultimately happened to the other 38 people.

Following the investigation, the airport began training its 911 operators to provide CPR instructions over the phone.

In the meantime, The Reveal team found that more than half of all primary 911 centers in Georgia choose not to train their dispatchers in CPR or Emergency Medical Dispatch.

Georgia does not require CPR training for 911 operators, leaving it up to each 911 center to decide if they want to use it or not.

A bill similar to the one passed by the Senate Public Safety Committee was introduced in the Georgia House in March 2021, but did not advance out of the House Public Safety and Homeland Security Committee.

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