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Trained 9-1-1 dispatchers would be able to help a bystander who has a cell phone or landline to provide CPR until paramedics arrive, as a result of House Bill 786 jointly authored by Rep. Canales - dispatchers - Titans of the Texas Legislature

FEATURED: Dr. Michael B. Hocker, Senior Associate Dean and Designated Institutional Official (DIO) for Graduate Medical Education at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at Augusta University, on Friday, May 14, 2021, was announced as the new Dean of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine. He will be taking over the duties of John H. Krouse, MD, PhD, MBA on Monday, June 28, 2021. Krouse announced in 2020 that he would be stepping down as Dean of the UTRGV School of Medicine and as Executive Vice President of Health Affairs for UTRGV to serve in a faculty position. Hocker has ties to the Rio Grande Valley, noting that he and his family are excited about joining the UTRGV community and moving to South Texas, where they will be closer to his mother, Jean, and stepfather, Richard, who currently live in Harlingen.



Trained 9-1-1 dispatchers would be able to help a bystander who has a cell phone or landline to provide CPR until paramedics arrive, as a result of House Bill 786 jointly authored by Rep. Canales

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Trained 9-1-1 dispatchers would be able to help a bystander who has a cell phone or landline to provide life-saving Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, more commonly known as CPR, until paramedics arrive, as a result of House Bill 786 jointly authored by Rep. Terry Canales, D-Edinburg.

House Bill 786 was approved by the Texas Legislature on Monday, May 3, 2021 and signed into law by Gov. Greg Abbott on Friday, May 15, 2021. It becomes effective on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

“CPR – or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation – is an emergency lifesaving procedure performed when the heart stops beating. Immediate CPR can double or triple chances of survival after cardiac arrest, according to the American Heart Association,” Canales explained. 

A bill analysis of House Bill 786 found that there were  concerns about the low rate of survival for people who experience sudden cardiac arrest outside of a hospital setting. 

“Evidence indicates that early administration of CPR has a positive impact on a patient’s chance of survival. When a person dials 9-1-1, they are in communication with a dispatcher who then directs paramedics to arrive at the scene. It has been suggested that if 9-1-1 dispatchers and other licensed telecommunicators received CPR training they would be able to coach the caller through administering CPR while the paramedics are en route, thus giving the patient a better chance of recovery,” according to the Senate Research Center. “House Bill 786 seeks to require telecommunicators to receive this training as part of their initial licensure training and on an ongoing basis as part of their continuing education.”

The Senate Research Center provides quality, specialized, objective research and information to the Texas Senate and Office of the Lieutenant Governor.

A bill analysis is a document prepared for all bills and joint resolutions reported out of committee. A bill analysis may include background information on the measure, a statement of purpose or intent, and an analysis of the content of the measure.

Rep. Tom Oliverson, R-Houston, a practicing anesthesiologist, is the primary author of House Bill 786, while Canales is one of three joint authors of the legislation.

As the primary author of House Bill 786, Oliverson is the legislator who filed House Bill 786 and guided it through the legislative process (also called the primary author).

Legislation is a proposed or enacted law or group of laws.

Filed refers to a measure that has been introduced into the legislative process and given a number.

A bill is a type of legislative measure that requires passage by both chambers of the legislature (House of Representatives and Senate) and action by the governor in order to become effective. A bill is the primary means used to create and change the laws of the state. “Bill” types include Senate and House bills, Senate and House joint resolutions, Senate and House concurrent resolutions, and Senate and House resolutions.

In the House of Representatives, Canales – as a joint author – was authorized by  Oliverson to join in the authorship of the measure and have his or her name shown following the primary author’s name on official printings of the measure, on calendars, and in the journal.

Joining Canales as joint authors of House Bill 786 were Rep. Tony Tinderholt, R-Arlington, and Rep. Eddie Morales, D-Austin.

Sen. Charles Perry, R-Lubbock, served as the Senate sponsor of House Bill 786. As sponsor, Perry guided the bill through the Senate after Oliverson/Canales/Tinderholt/Morales passed the legislation through the House of Representatives.

The National 9-1-1 Program, which provides federal leadership and coordination in supporting optimal 9-1-1 services across the nation, provides more details about the roles of 9-1-1 professionals:

• 9-1-1 professionals, also referred to as “dispatchers” or “call takers,” are often the first trained point of contact in an emergency. They begin the important work of obtaining essential information, remaining calm, calming others, and sending the appropriate responders to the right location. They may also provide instructions to the 9-1-1 caller, which in many cases is essential to stabilizing or saving a life, according to

• Throughout the nation, 9-1-1 call centers or public safety answering points (PSAPs) are managed by a variety of local and state agencies, including law enforcement, fire departments, hospitals, and private EMS companies. This varied governance produces a unique challenge for training telecommunicators, as each agency may have its own educational standards.

• Some 9-1-1 professionals are certified as emergency medical dispatchers (EMDs), emergency fire dispatchers (EFDs) or emergency police dispatchers (EPDs). Managers and supervisors may also be certified as emergency number professionals (ENPs) or certified public-safety executives (CPEs).

• The National 9-1-1 Program supports the work of the 911 community to provide training strategies for telecommunicators and has previously convened a working group of 911 associations to develop recommended minimum training guidelines for telecommunicators.

The House Research Organization, which is the nonpartisan research arm of the House of Representatives, provided a bill analysis of House Bill 786.

The House Research Organization’s bill analysis of House Bill 786 follows:


Requiring 9-1-1 dispatchers be trained to coach CPR over the phone


Homeland Security and Public Safety — committee substitute recommended

(A committee substitute is a new bill or resolution recommended by a committee in lieu of the original measure. A committee may report a committee substitute rather than a bill with proposed amendments. The committee substitute must contain the same subject matter as the original measure. A committee is a group of legislators appointed by the presiding officer of the house or the senate to which proposed legislation is referred or a specific task is assigned.)


9 ayes — White, Bowers, Goodwin, Harless, Hefner, E. Morales, Patterson, Schaefer, Tinderholt

0 nays


For — Watson Kohankie; Kevin Patel; (Registered, but did not testify: Alec Puente, American Heart Association; Bill Kelly, City of Houston Mayor’s Office; John Hawkins, Texas Hospital Association; Dan Finch, Texas Medical Association; Joel Romo, The Cooper Institute/Austin EMS Association/Association of Texas EMS Professionals; Shelia Franklin, True Texas Project; Thomas Parkinson)

Against — None

On — (Registered, but did not testify: Kim Vickers, Texas Commission on Law Enforcement)


Committee Substitute House Bill 786 will require all telecommunicators in the state to be trained during their basic licensing or continuing education courses on how to coach cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) over the phone. The training would be required to:

• Use the most current nationally recognized emergency cardiovascular care guidelines;
• Incorporate recognition protocols for out-of-hospital cardiac arrest; and
• Provide information on best practices for relaying compression- only CPR instructions to callers.

The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement would be required to adopt rules to implement tele-CPR training as soon as practicable after the bill’s effective date.

The bill will take effect on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.

Committee Substitute House Bill 786 would save the lives of Texans by enabling a bystander, coached by a 911 dispatcher over the phone, to perform CPR on the spot until paramedics arrived. By requiring dispatchers be trained in tele-CPR before they could become licensed or as part of their continuing training, people in cardiac arrest could receive CPR sooner, which could result in a significant increase in survival rates. 

Requiring the training to adhere to best practices and nationally recognized emergency cardiovascular care guidelines, would help to ensure consistent and high-quality standards across the state.

A study from the American Heart Association (AHA) indicated the certain individuals who received tele-CPR had a 64 percent better chance of surviving than those who did not. Unfortunately, not everyone is trained in CPR and Texas does not mandate that 9-1-1 dispatchers or other licensed telecommunicators be trained to coach the lifesaving technique by phone.

The Texas Commission on Law Enforcement easily could incorporate the training into existing education for telecommunicators, so it would not impose any additional costs on the state, counties, or municipalities.

Critics say:

No concerns identified.


The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley announced Friday, May 15, 2021 the appointment of Dr. Michael B. Hocker as the new Dean of the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley School of Medicine.  

Hocker, who starts his new role on Monday, June 28, 2021, holds the J. Harold Harrison M.D. Distinguished Chair in Emergency Medicine and currently serves as the Senior Associate Dean and Designated Institutional Official (DIO) for graduate medical education at the Medical College of Georgia (MCG) at Augusta University

In that role, Hocker oversees 51 residency and fellowship programs. Previously, he served as the Vice-Chair of Operations for Emergency Medicine and Assistant DIO for graduate medical education. 

Prior to joining MCG, Hocker spent 14 years at Duke University School of Medicine, where he helped start what is now considered one of the country’s top emergency medicine training programs.  He also earned a Master of Health Science in Clinical Leadership from Duke. 

In 2016, the Duke Division of Emergency Medicine honored his leadership with the naming of the Michael B. Hocker, M.D., Duke Emergency Medicine Division Leadership and Service Award. 

“We were fortunate to have a very large and diverse pool of candidates for the dean’s position,” said UTRGV President Guy Bailey. “Dr. Hocker stood out from the pool because of the depth and breadth of his knowledge of the operations of a medical school and his experience with both clinical operations and medical education.” 

Hocker said he is honored to be selected as Dean and excited to join a “fantastic group of students, faculty, and staff. 

“This role is a unique opportunity to lead an evolving medical school, foster its growth and support its critical mission to improve the health of the Rio Grande Valley, South Texas, and beyond,” he added. “The UTRGV-SOM will accomplish this mission through innovative educational programs, high-quality clinical care, and life and disease-changing discovery.”  

Hocker, a former Navy flight surgeon, graduated from Ft. Lewis College and earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Colorado School of Medicine. 

He said he and his family are excited about joining the UTRGV community and moving to South Texas, where they will be closer to his mother, Jean, and stepfather, Richard, who currently live in Harlingen. 

“I welcome the opportunity to work closely with the Rio Grande Valley community leaders and clinical partners to improve access to health care, reduce health disparities, and train the next generation of physicians and leaders in medicine,” Hocker said.  

Dr. Janna Arney, UTRGV Deputy President, Interim Provost, and Co-Chair of the Dean Search Committee, also praised Hocker’s hire. 

“Dr. Hocker’s proven leadership will serve UTRGV and the School of Medicine well as we continue to prioritize student success and health and medical education,” Arney said. 

Hocker joined the MCG faculty in June 2016 and was named the Harrison Distinguished University Chair in Emergency Medicine. In addition, as Vice Chair he oversees the clinical and business operations for the Emergency Department program. He has a leadership role in Graduate Medical Education and the Office of Leadership Development which focuses on programs in leadership and professional development.

Hocker formerly served as the Chief of Emergency Medicine, Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center from 2007-2016, where he shepherded the Division through significant growth in all academic missions.

After graduating, magna cum laude from Fort Lewis College in 1989, Hocker attended Medical School at the University of Colorado and graduated with honors in 1993. 

Hocker began his residency training at UC Davis East Bay’s surgical program and completed his surgical internship in 1994. 

Hocker welcomed his fleet assignment after completing his Naval Flight training in Pensacola Florida where he gained his helicopter Solo flight certificate. As a Naval Flight Surgeon, he was stationed with a Marine Helicopter Squadron in Kaneohe, Hawaii, flew CH-53 helicopters and in 1995 was awarded the 151 Marine Aircraft Wing Flight Surgeon of the Year Award. 

In 1997, Hocker returned to residency at the University of Massachusetts where he completed his emergency medicine residency in 2000. He was recognized and awarded the outstanding resident award for all three years of his training and was designated Chief Resident in his final year. Dr. Hocker received his M.H.S., in Clinical Leadership, from Duke University in 2007.

While at Duke, Hocker received multiple local and national awards including the FLC Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Service award. He received the Duke Strength Hope and Caring, Service Champion, ED Outstanding Faculty and the Divisional Leadership and Service awards. He also received the Secretary of Defense Employee Support Freedom Award, and was part of the leadership team at Duke that received the Baldridge National Quality award and the American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize.

Hocker is a Fellow in the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) and the American Academy of Emergency Medicine (AAEM) and member of Society of Academic Emergency Medicine (SAEM) and Association of Academic Chairs in Emergency Medicine and has served on multiple state and national committees. 

He is the former President of the NC ACEP state chapter and also served as the NC CAC liaison and past Secretary/Treasurer and member of the Board of Directors. He has served as a Young Physician Delegate to the AMA, is a past President of Horry County Medical Society in SC. He has served locally on Durham County Medical Management and Durham Crisis Collaborative committees. At Duke University Medical Center, he participated in the Pharmacy and Therapeutics, Pay for Performance, ED Patient Flow, Operations, Revenue Enhancement, Just Culture and EDIS Steering Committees. He also served on the Department of Surgery Promotion and Tenure, ED-GME, Resident Selection, Patient Placement and Admission and JACHO Advisory Committees.

About the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley (UTRGV) was created by the Texas Legislature in 2013 as the first major public university of the 21st century in Texas. This transformative initiative provided the opportunity to expand educational opportunities in the Rio Grande Valley, including a new School of Medicine, and made it possible for residents of the region to benefit from the Permanent University Fund – a public endowment contributing support to the University of Texas System and other institutions. 

UTRGV has campuses and off-campus research and teaching sites throughout the Rio Grande Valley including in Boca Chica Beach, Brownsville (formerly The University of Texas at Brownsville campus), Edinburg (formerly The University of Texas-Pan American campus), Harlingen, McAllen, Port Isabel, Rio Grande City, and South Padre Island. UTRGV, a comprehensive academic institution, enrolled its first class in the fall of 2015, and the School of Medicine welcomed its first class in the summer of 2016.


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