“At the scene of most accidents, health emergencies, natural disasters, or other crises, bystanders are usually the first people on the scene until trained emergency professionals arrive,” states a UPMC press release. “Learning simple, easy-to-understand emergency skills empowers bystanders to provide critical help during these life-threatening and highly stressful situations.”
Minutes Matter launched on Feb. 2. The ad features two scenes in which bystanders act quickly to provide aid in an emergency; in one, a teenager witnesses a car accident and rushes to a driver who was injured, using a basketball jersey as a tourniquet for her wound. In the other, a cook in a restaurant sees a diner having a heart attack and runs over to perform chest compressions.
At a press conference last week, Mayor Bill Peduto said the program was “first of its kind program in the world. There is not another city that is partnering with another hospital in order to train the people of that city in order to be able to save lives.” At the same press conference, Pittsburgh public safety director Wendell Hissrich said that in the last four years, the city has given Pittsburgh Police officers medical equipment including tourniquets and overdose medication Narcan.
“At the onset of many emergencies, some simple actions by those nearby make all the difference, allowing EMS and hospital teams to help those in distress,” said Donald M. Yealy, chair of emergency medicine at UPMC in the press release. “These actions are easy, and we want to empower our friends and neighbors by teaching them how to be that first responder.”
Currently, the website has a “how to help section” with information on how to recognize and react to cardiac events, bleeding, and opioid overdoses. The sections for both bleeding and cardiac events feature animated videos with demonstrations on what to do during an emergency.