Telephone CPR could save lives, but only a handful of states require 911 operators to be trained for it

Immediate CPR can drastically increase the survival rate of someone who is experiencing cardiac arrest.

(CNN)When someone calls 911, the time it takes for paramedics to arrive can be the difference between life and death.

Minnesota lawmaker Julie Sandstede knows this. She represents a rural area, where ambulances may take longer to arrive on the scene of a medical emergency.
When her husband experienced cardiac arrest in 2011, the dispatcher sent the ambulance the wrong way. Luckily, he was saved by a bystander who performed CPR on him under the guidance of a 911 operator.
"(The operator) was able to assess the situation and give direction to what intervention was needed," Sandstede said. "We were so fortunate."
    Her husband, Evan Sandstede, was lucky to have an operator who knew how to walk someone through CPR. But that's not always the case.
    "When I learned that not all 911 operators are trained in how to instruct CPR over the phone, I couldn't believe it," Sandstede said. "I was shocked. ... This is unconscionable."
    This legislative session, the Democratic lawmaker has proposed legislation in Minnesota that would require all 911 operators to be trained in telephone CPR.