By Austin Vaught
Contributing Writer 

CPR course, crime updates highlight the Carrick / Overbrook Block Watch


Last updated 6/21/2016 at 12:16pm

Several Carrick residents participated in a free CPR training course conducted by City of Pittsburgh EMS and UPMC at this month’s Carrick / Overbrook block watch meeting in the Concord K5 gymnasium.

The new public health initiative aims to provide 2,500 Pittsburgh citizens with CPR training in 2016 as a way to emphasize the importance of community partners during a cardiac arrest incident.

“We have one of the best cardiac arrest programs in the county,” Mark Pinchalk, patient care coordinator at City of Pittsburgh EMS said. “...this year, it’s really an emphasis on community partners. Buy us time to make it to the scene.”

Carrick residents were divided into groups and several training stations were set up around the gymnasium. Lessons were provided on proper techniques for chest compressions and using an automated external defibrillator (AED). Eleven EMS providers were on hand to provide instruction.

City of Pittsburgh EMS and UPMC are flexible with the Community CPR Training initiative and can provide training sessions at a variety of locations including senior citizen high rises, church groups, and youth groups.

“It’s free. No cost to you,” Mr. Pinchalk said. “It really makes a big difference.”

Residents can schedule a free, 30-minute group training program by contacting Mr. Pinchalk at

Prior to the CPR training course, a detailed crime report provided by Zone 3 police officer Christine Luffey portrayed the ongoing heroin issues plaguing South Pittsburgh neighborhoods. Over the past month, heroin-related arrests were not exclusive to Carrick as several incidents also occurred in Overbrook.

“In Overbrook, this is unusual,” Officer Luffey said. “We have made four drug arrests in Overbrook in the past 30 days.”

One Overbrook arrest occurred on May 19 at 6:24 p.m. when officers responded to reports of a disorderly male alarming motorists. Police were able to follow him to the 2600 block of Kingwood Street where they discovered heroin on his person. The man was charged with disorderly conduct and possession of a controlled substance.

Officer Luffey also reported on 15 drug-related arrests that occurred in Carrick over the past month.

In one incident, Pittsburgh Police narcotics officers conducted a controlled heroin buy and arrested a suspect on May 3 at 2:50 p.m. in the 100 block of Overbrook Boulevard.

In another incident, an individual driving a black Chevrolet Monte Carlo with red racing stripes was reportedly selling drugs from the vehicle in Carrick, Arlington, and Allentown. Police staged another controlled buy on May 28 at 6 p.m. and the individual was arrested.

Two stabbings also occurred on May 30. The first happened in the 1900 block of Westmont Avenue. The victim said he was in a back alley when an individual pulled up in a 4-door vehicle and asked for money. When the victim refused, he was stabbed in the left forearm.

The second stabbing took place in the 1100 block of Amanda Street where the victim was sitting on his front porch. He was approached by three men who demanded to be let inside. When the victim refused, he was stabbed in the stomach with a gardening tool. He was taken to the hospital and underwent surgery.

The Unimart in the 1900 block of Brownsville road was robbed on May 21 at 5:50 a.m. The clerk provided a description of a black man wearing duct tape around his hands and a long-haired wig.

“It’s been busy,” Officer Luffey said. “Stay safe. Please keep up the great work you do. We wouldn’t be as successful as we are without you.”

The next Carrick / Overbrook Crime Watch meeting is scheduled for Monday, July 11 at 7 p.m. The July and August meetings will be held downstairs at Saint Basil Catholic Church on Brownsville Road.


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