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HARRISBURG — When there is a health emergency, minutes matter when it comes to saving someone’s life.

That is why the City of Harrisburg announced Monday a partnership with UPMC to promote the health network’s Minutes Matter initiative, a program which provides education and training in life-saving techniques.

“This training impacts everyone; the parent of a child whose heart suddenly stops, or someone who comes home to find their partner overdosed, or the person whose friend was just shot in front of them,” said Mayor Wanda Williams. “This is not the time to bury our heads and pretend like this stuff doesn’t happen. Except thanks to this training, you can be the one to save their life. This does not have to be their time to go.”

Mayor Williams joined UPMC in Central Pa. President Lou Baverso, UPMC Vice President of Mission Effectiveness Tina Nixon, Community LifeTeam EMS Chief Barry Albertson, and City of Harrisburg Health Officer Nelva Wright at Monday’s press event. UPMC and Community LifeTeam provided numerous emergency medical technicians (EMTs) to provide demonstrations on different Minutes Matter techniques.

Among them, hands-only CPR, how to reverse an opioid overdose with Narcan, how to use automated external defibrillators, Stop The Bleed techniques, and suicide prevention advice. UPMC provides online and in-person training at no cost in an effort to educate the public that their actions can help extend the life of someone in an emergency; buying time so first-responders can get there.

“At the scene of most accidents, emergencies, and crises, it’s the bystanders like you and me who are the first to arrive,” Baverso said. “You don’t have to be trained medical professional to help save a person’s life.”

Training and education is available on the Minutes Matter website.

For example, only one in 10 people will survive a cardiac arrest if no one is in the immediate area to help, Albertson said. Those numbers increase to 50% survival rate if people nearby are trained in chest-compression CPR or AED usage. Additionally, Albertson says someone experiencing an overdose can survive up to 90% of the time if someone nearby uses Narcan to reverse the opioid effects.

The City of Harrisburg will make Minutes Matter training and education available to all city employees, and will increase promotion of the program throughout the city, including a series of hands-on demonstrations on WHBG-TV 20 highlighting each area of the Minutes Matter initiative.