Every month, SCOPE trains first responders in ways to increase naloxone administration and eliminate overdose deaths. Our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page is designed to give you the information you need to decide if SCOPE training is right for your organization.

What is SCOPE and what does it stand for?

The Strategies to Coordinate Overdose Prevention Efforts (SCOPE) Statewide project educates emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and firefighters on the opioid public health crisis and introduces expanded services that first responders can implement to better serve community members who may be at risk of substance use disorder. The goal of this project is to increase naloxone administration and eliminate overdose deaths across Pennsylvania.

Why train first responders about Substance Use Disorder (SUD)? 

First responders are often the only source of treatment for those experiencing an opioid overdose and are uniquely positioned to offer further treatment options to people living with SUD. These training sessions equip them with the knowledge and tools to prevent future overdoses and save lives.

SCOPE Statewide isn’t available in my county. Can I still participate? 

PERU is working with St. Joseph’s University to train first responders in all counties across Pennsylvania. Please reach out to Brenda Hall Sciulli with questions and requests for more information.

What type of first responders can take the training?

Emergency Medical Services (EMS) agencies in every county in Pennsylvania and fire departments within a 33-county catchment area in Pennsylvania are eligible for SCOPE training sessions. Fire departments that possess a basic life support (BLS) license are permitted to participate in the training regardless of location/county.

Are the training times flexible?

PERU will work with your agency to schedule training sessions that accommodate your staffing needs.   Training funding is available. Please contact us with any questions. 

Do I get continuing education (CE) credit for attending the training?

Yes. The course is approved for four hours of “other” EMS continuing education credits.

Who is the SCOPE Statewide team? 

SCOPE Statewide is an interdisciplinary group of PERU staff including: 

  • Katrin Fieser, CRS, CFRS, CPS, NCPRSS, MSW – Training Coordinator

  • Chip Franklin, MS, NRP, CP-C – Program Implementation Specialist

  • Jennifer Palmquist, MEd – Training Coordinator

  • Kristy Rzepecki, BS – Program Manager

  • Brenda Hall Sciulli, BA, OCPC – Deputy Director

  • Brandon Thomas, BSW – Training Coordinator

  • Alexis Waksmunski, MPIA – Training Coordinator

Does PERU have experience working with first responders? 

Yes. This program builds on the previous work of the SCOPE Pilot Program (funded by the Hillman Family Foundation) and current work done on the SCOPE First Responder and Blair County projects (both funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)). Through these current projects, PERU is working with nine EMS and law enforcement agencies in six counties across Southwest Pennsylvania.

How was the training content created?

SCOPE trainings are based on peer-reviewed research, insight from subject matter experts (such as University of Pittsburgh Emergency Medicine instructors), and input from community first responders.

How is this project funded?

The SCOPE Statewide project is a collaboration between PERU and the Pennsylvania Department of Health (PA DOH), and is funded by SAMHSA.  

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

Please contact SCOPE@pitt.edu with any additional questions. 


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