UPMC, City of Pittsburgh team up on Minutes Matter life-saving initiative

PITTSBURGH — During an emergency, a few minutes could be the difference between life and death.

That’s why WPXI is proud to help bring awareness to a new joint initiative between the city of Pittsburgh and UPMC called Minutes Matter.

“We can’t do our job as well as it could be done if we haven’t partnered well with the very first person, and that is almost invariably never a healthcare provider. So, we want to teach as many people as possible a few basic steps about a few basic things that they might run into during their life,” said Dr. Donald Yealy, the chair of the Department of Emergency Medicine at UPMC.

PHOTOS: WPXI staff participates in Minutes Matter emergency training

The goal is clear: provide education to people in our area over the next few years.

“We want to make sure that every city of Pittsburgh resident knows what to do in an emergency. We want, if something happens, the opportunity for every Pittsburgher to save a life,” said Dan Gillman, Mayor Bill Peduto’s chief-of-staff.

A team from UPMC spent a day at WPXI to show our staff some basic emergency care:

  • Hands-only CPR
  • How to use an AED
  • How to stop bleeding
  • How to help someone overdosing on opioids.

“We want it to be so simple, so easy that anybody can do it. Anybody can remember,” said UPMC EMS Specialist Jonathan Dalbey. “It doesn’t require studying or a major test at the end. It’s a down and dirty quick this is how to do it, and anybody can learn it.”

“We want to give power to the people. Give them the information that they can – if they’re at Kennywood and somebody’s yelling for help – actually have the confidence to stop and know what to do,” said EMS Specialist Cheryl Rickens.

The team from UPMC said many people want to help during an emergency but aren’t sure how.

This training goes a long way during those minutes that matter to save someone’s life.

“We can give you just the pertinent information, the most important things to do until help gets there – because we’re not asking you to continue that all the way to the hospital – just until somebody gets there. And we find that a lot of people are receptive to that,” said EMS Specialist Justin Beal.

WPXI is the proud television sponsor of Minutes Matter. Once a month, we will bring you stories on Channel 11 and a special show on WPXI Now. Also, we will tell you about events you can attend.

For more information about Minutes Matter, visit