It takes an average of 10 minutes for a first-responder to arrive to an emergency after dialing 911 in South Dakota, according to the American Heart Association. In rural areas, it can take even longer.
So if a person experiences sudden cardiac arrest, either response time is long enough to have fatal consequences.
South Dakota legislators will try to address part of that issue this week when they consider Senate Bill 140, a proposal to require all South Dakota high school students to take a course in “hands only” cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, prior to graduation. Students would also receive instruction in the use of automated external defibrillators, or AEDS.