SCOPE trains first responders in ways to increase naloxone administration and eliminate opioid overdose deaths. Our frequently asked questions (FAQ) page provides information to determine if SCOPE training is right for your organization.

What is SCOPE?

The Strategies to Coordinate Overdose Prevention Efforts (SCOPE) project educates emergency medical services (EMS) personnel and firefighters on the opioid public health crisis and introduces services first responders can implement to serve community members at risk of substance use disorder (SUD). This project aims to increase naloxone administration and eliminate overdose deaths across Pennsylvania.

Why train first responders about 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. In addition, these training sessions equip first responders with the knowledge and tools to prevent future overdoses and save lives.

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

PERU works with Saint Joseph’s University to train first responders in all counties across Pennsylvania. Please contact us with questions and requests for more information.

What type of first responders can take the training?

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 with basic life support (BLS) licenses are permitted to participate in the training regardless of location/county.

map of SCOPE counties in PA

Pennsylvania County Map

Are the training times flexible?

PERU works with your agency to schedule training sessions that accommodate your staffing needs.  Training funding is available. Please get in touch with us with any questions.

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

Yes. The course is approved through Saint Joseph’s University for two hours of “other” EMS CE and two hours of CPC credit.

What experience does SCOPE have working with first responders? 

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, Blair County (PA), and Jefferson County (Ohio) projects (each funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)). Through these current projects, PERU works with nine EMS and law enforcement agencies in six counties across Southwest Pennsylvania and twenty-eight EMS agencies and fire departments in Ohio.

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
  • Alexis Waksmunski, MPIA – Training Coordinator

How was the SCOPE training content created?

SCOPE trainings are based on peer-reviewed research, insight from subject matter experts (including University of Pittsburgh emergency medicine instructors), and feedback from first responders.

How is SCOPE funded?

SCOPE is a collaboration between the University of Pittsburgh, School of Pharmacy’s Program, Evaluation, and Research Unit (PERU), and the Pennsylvania Department of Health and is funded by SAMHSA.  

Who should I contact if I have additional questions?

Please contact with any additional questions.