For Hub City Times
WAUSAU – The American Heart Association and the Wisconsin EMS Association recognized Representative John Spiros , Marshfield, at the Wausau Fire Department. The American Heart Association presented Rep. Spiros with a Friend with Heart award and the Wisconsin EMS Association presented its Legislator of the Year award for Rep. Spiros’ efforts on passing the Dispatcher Assisted CPR law in Wisconsin.
The law ensures all 911 dispatchers in Wisconsin can give CPR coaching over the phone during a cardiac arrest emergency. Currently, Wisconsin’s bystander CPR rate is around 19 percent, according to the Wisconsin Department of Health Services, but this new law aims to increase that.
Rep. Spiros worked with both organizations for the last few years, building support for this issue among legislators, stakeholders and the public. This legislation was signed into law on April 16.
“It’s an honor to accept these awards, because it means the people of central Wisconsin and the entire state will be safer with this law in place,” said Rep. Spiros. “Working together with the American Heart Association and the Wisconsin EMS Association, along with more than a dozen other stakeholders, we are making sure that cardiac arrest victims in Wisconsin have the greatest chance of survival.”
“Rep. Spiros has been a tireless advocate for CPR,” said Brad Gast, Wausau resident and a member of the American Heart Association’s WI Advocacy Committee. “Last session he championed the CPR in Schools bill, and this year he focused with us on dispatcher CPR training. We thank Rep. Spiros for his leadership.”
“We are proud to call Rep. Spiros our Legislator of the Year,” said Marc Cohen, Executive Director of the Wisconsin EMS Association. “Too often, first responders are the first to begin CPR on a victim who has collapsed from cardiac arrest. We applaud Rep. Spiros dedication to strengthening the chain of survival, ensuring victims the best chance of survival.”
When someone collapses because of cardiac arrest, their chance of survival falls 10 percent with each passing minute between cardiac arrest and the start of CPR. When bystander CPR is administered, it doubles and even triples the chance that the victims survive. With this law, 911 dispatchers in Wisconsin will be able to help callers begin bystander CPR immediately on a cardiac arrest victim as first responders are en route.