Anyone having a heart attack at the nation’s busiest airport should be prepared to wait.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport’s average response time in 2020, from the 911 center receiving a medical call to the first unit reporting on scene, was 11 minutes and 48 seconds.
Even if a 911 operator at the airport knows CPR or has previous medical training, they are prohibited from giving life-saving instructions to 911 callers. “They're not trained to provide CPR instructions over the phone,” Airport 911 Director Augustus Hudson said.
Neighboring 911 centers and major airports across the nation, Like DFW in Dallas, have access to emergency medical dispatchers and provide pre-arrival instructions over the phone during medical calls.
The Atlanta airport’s 911 center does not.