911 emergency dispatchers are assisting in saving more and more lives every year. There has been a dramatic increase in successful life-saving assists made by emergency dispatchers in the last few years. This is due to the several changes made by WCCA to the ways cardiac arrest cases were handled by the dispatchers.
The Washington County dispatchers, in 2011 helped in saving 3 lives by offering CPR assistance which grew to 14 in 2012 and 22 in 2013, while in 2014 it reached to 31.
According to the performance manager for Washington County Consolidated Communications Agency, Mark Chandler, “It’s far greater than anyone expected. These are saving people’s lives.”
The American Heart Association, in 2010 set up new resuscitation guidelines calling for “hands-only CPR.” As per the emergency dispatchers majority of people are reluctant to perform mouth-to-mouth CPR and its instruction was also quite complicated.
In accordance to Mark Chandler, “Previously, we wouldn’t get to the compressions unless we knew that somebody did an effective rescue breath. So that could take three, four, five, six or seven or eight minutes.”
Doctors believe that during chest compressions, the blood moves through the lungs where it gets the oxygen and carry it to the brain and heart. This is the why Washington County dispatchers are instructed to begin cardiopulmonary resuscitation on every cardiac arrest victim.
Chandler said, “About 50 percent of the time that we do compressions, they don’t need them. But we have determined that nobody is going to get seriously injured. They might get a rib that is broken. On the other hand, if they need CPR and they don’t get it, the outcome is guaranteed. That would be death.”
In this regard, the Washington County 911 has also begun dispatching the closest ambulance, fire or police unit equipped with a defibrillator to cardiac arrest calls.