Why is it important for everyone in our community to have basic emergency information and education?
Learning basic emergency skills will help you stay calm and empower you to provide help in highly stressful situations. At the scene of most accidents, natural disasters, or other crises, witnesses are often the first people on the scene until trained emergency professionals arrive.
What types of things can someone learn in order to help in an emergency?
Knowing the most common and potentially impactful emergency skills—such as chest compressions (hands-only CPR), how to locate and use an automatic external defibrillator (AED), bleeding control, and administering naloxone—can help save lives when minutes matter. Even having most basic information about how to respond in an emergency, including what to say to 911 and how to prepare for the arrival of first responders, can prepare you to better handle an emergency situation. There are also many formal trainings available to help you learn and practice more advanced skills and to become formally certified.
What is the difference between basic education and formal training?
Basic emergency education can be communicated in short videos, articles, and mini training sessions lasting anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours. Formal emergency training, such as becoming certified in CPR or AED usage by the American Red Cross
or American Heart Association
may take several hours and you will be officially certified when you complete the course.
Where can I find basic education or formal training – CPR, AED, Stop the Bleed, or others?
You can find basic education on these topics throughout the Minutes Matter site, with new content added frequently. And, we encourage you to sign up to join the movement, so that you will be the first to know when new information, events, or opportunities become available. There are many organizations that provide formal emergency training classes and seminars, such as the American Red Cross
and the American Heart Association
. Visit our trainings and events calendar to find more information about training classes, events, and opportunities.
What are Good Samaritan Laws?
Good Samaritan Laws have been around for decades and were established to protect people who assist those in need during an emergency. The laws were specifically designed to ease concerns about possible civil liability for making a mistake when trying to provide emergency assistance to an injured person. These laws eliminate what we might call a lay person’s “malpractice” liability, except in cases of intentionally causing harm or being grossly negligent. These laws can vary by state and Pennsylvania's Good Samaritan Law can be found here.
These traditional Good Samaritan Laws should not to be confused with a different type of Good Samaritan Law that shields people from criminal liability when reporting a drug overdose: here.
How can I register an AED?
AED registries receive information from ordinary citizens, medical professionals, and government personnel. The locations are verified and given a tracking label. The tracking label allows 911 professionals and emergency responders to see where the nearest AED is located, boosting the chances of a cardiac arrest survival. If your facility or organization has publicly accessible AEDs in your location, please take the time to register them, as it may save someone’s life. Register an AED within your area by visiting, here.
Are there any smartphone apps where I can receive information on emergencies in the Pittsburgh area?
PulsePoint® Respond is a smartphone app that alerts CPR-trained users of a nearby cardiac arrest or other emergency requiring CPR.
PulsePoint® AED app allows citizens to see on their smartphone where the nearest registered AED is located in the event of a cardiac arrest situation. The apps are available for iPhone and Android and can be downloaded from the iTunes Store, Google Play, or by visiting: here.
What if I am a bystander who took action in an emergency, or was impacted by someone who did? How can I share my story?
If you have a story where you helped save someone’s life, or someone helped saved yours, you can submit your story by visiting: here.