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Tennessee Dispatchers Required To Offer CPR Directions

/ The Upper Cumberland's News Leader
Tennessee Dispatchers Required To Offer CPR Directions

Tennessee will require dispatchers to be able to give directions on how to perform CPR over the phone starting in 2021.

Putnam County Sheriff Eddie Farris said he agrees with the law and supports making this training mandatory. Farris said most of his dispatchers have already gone through this training, but there’s more to the training than just knowing CPR during a crisis.

“Dispatchers to be able to use language and direction that’s very simple, but easy to follow to the caller,” Farris said. “Who is most of the time in a panic, crisis and distraught sometimes. Because more than likely a family member or a loved one.”

He said the CPR training itself only takes a few hours, but training tries to focus in on staying calm, using simple language and giving simple directions during emergencies. Farris said time is of the essence in these situations.

“Although, most of the time our deputies will beat and make better time getting to an emergency scene, than the ambulance or EMS do,” Farris said. “We certainly need somebody on this end, as far as giving proper instructions, if we have someone from the callers side, that can and is willing to do CPR.”

Farris said he also approves of the state protecting dispatchers and their agency from liability.

“There is no liability for the dispatcher or the agency for giving instructions to a caller,” Farris said. “Even though they certainly want us to know how to do that and give the proper instructions, in an emergency situation and a crisis. From the caller standpoint, there is no liability, so I think the legislature did this one right and did something good for us.”

Farris said most agencies in the Upper Cumberland have tried to stay ahead of the curve on this training, and the biggest change will be mandating CPR training. Farris said as Putnam County Sheriff, he is always looking to improve knowledge and communication within his department.


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