The proposed budget allocates $220,000 for training the state's call takers in telephone CPR.
The new funding follows reports from The Public's Radio and ProPublica that raised questions about whether lack of training for the state’s 911 call takers is costing lives. In one case, a 6-month-old baby in Warwick died last year after a 911 call taker gave incorrect instructions to the family. In another, a 45-year-old woman who collapsed at a high school football game died after four calls to 911. None of the 911 call takers recognized the woman was in cardiac arrest. And none of them instructed the callers to perform CPR.
This new money would fund training for the state's call takers in telephone CPR, a method of talking a 911 caller through what to do when someone’s gone into cardiac arrest.
House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said the money allocated was the full amount requested by the state police.
"All of the requests relative to 911 have always been fully appropriated," Mattiello said. "We are very conscious about public safety and addressing those needs."
The House Finance Committee approved the budget by a vote of 12 to 3. It now goes to the full House, which is expected to consider the budget next Friday.