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Local Super Bowl ad to promote bystander life-saving skills

The ad, which will air in the Pittsburgh market, features two emergency scenarios


Ashley Murray
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

PITTSBURGH — The minutes before paramedics arrive to a life-threatening scene are critical, and a local ad set to air during Sunday’s Super Bowl will urge residents to learn how to help save a loved one’s or stranger’s life.

The 60-second ad, which will run only in the Pittsburgh market right before half-time, will formally launch the “Minutes Matter” campaign, a joint initiative by the city and UPMC to offer free educational resources.

“The idea is very simple. We want to make sure that every city of Pittsburgh resident knows what to do in an emergency, whether it’s stop the bleeding, whether it’s how to perform CPR or use an AED,” said Mayor Bill Peduto’s Chief of Staff Dan Gilman, who spearheaded the initiative. “We travel, we move, Steeler nation goes across the country and the world. If you have an emergency, you’re going to want a city of Pittsburgh resident standing next to you when that hits.”

The ad, paid for by UPMC, features two emergency scenes: a man going into cardiac arrest while dining at a restaurant and a woman who appears to be injured and shocked after a car crash. In both instances, bystanders jump into action, dialing 911, starting chest compressions and tying a tourniquet.

“Every minute matters, but the science shows that if we get stuff happening in the first one, two or even four minutes, that’s a big help,” Mark Pinchalk, assistant chief of the city’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, said at a Thursday press conference to unveil the campaign.

Current data show that in only 40% of instances do bystanders step into action, Mr. Pinchalk and UPMC officials said, but when they do, there’s a “dramatic improvement.”

“Only about 40% of the time are we getting the maximum opportunity because someone tried,” said Dr. Donald M. Yealy, chair of emergency medicine at UPMC. “It doesn’t matter if you did it perfect, just trying by itself usually provides enough of a protection in the events we’re talking about.”

The ad will direct viewers to, where they can watch videos, see animations, read stories and find classes.

“You’ll actually be able to watch and start to learn from the comfort of your own home or on your iPhone on the bus to and from work and start to learn the keys to saving lives,” Mr. Gilman said.

If football fans miss the ad before halftime, they’ll have two more chance to see 30-second versions at the end of half-time and the third quarter.

UPMC did not disclose the cost of the ad, but a spokesperson said it “cost no more than our usual ads.”

The city does not have a financial obligation, Mr. Gilman said, but will use its website, social media reach and other existing partnerships to spread the campaign’s message.


©2020 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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