You may have thought that it was just the usual Office silliness going on when Michael Scott and his merry band of fools strutted around to “Stayin’ Alive” while learning CPR from a supposed Red Cross worker last night, but little did you know that your favorite paper pushers might have helped save a life. While the Red Cross wasn’t consulted for this particular episode, says Julie Whitmer, director of celebrity and entertainment outreach, the organization has worked with the show in the past (check out that Red Cross poster in the break room), and they’re nonetheless happy about the national exposure that The Office afforded their cause, despite the over-the-top scenario that ensued after Stanley’s heart attack (i.e. Dwight eviscerated the dummy and then wore its face as a mask).
“This really was a conversation starter. Is your office prepared for disaster or a heart attack?” asks Whitmer. “Hopefully there are lots of people signing up for CPR classes.”
There were things that the show got right. A study last fall did find that the song “Stayin’ Alive” has close to the 100 beats per minute recommended for chest compressions and people should use “whatever works for them to remember the procedure,” says Whitmer. And there were things the show got wrong, like the cost of the practice dummy: “They don’t cost anywhere near $3,500” (or $5,300 if you’re Michael). They’re more like $200 to $400. But legless/armless dummies do exist, and no, there’s no debate about their quality of life.