BACKGROUND: This article reports on the first web-based implementation of an opioid-overdose prevention, recognition and response training for professional first responders. The training was disseminated nationally over one listserv in November 2014. The same year, following Act 139, which mandated the provision of an online training for police officers in Pennsylvania, the Pennsylvania Department of Health approved the training. It was subsequently adopted as the primary training tool for police and other first responders in Pennsylvania and has been used as a training tool by first responders nationally.
METHODS: Analyses employed descriptive statistics to report characteristics of a sample of 387 professional first responders who completed a survey about their experience with the online training. Z-ratios were used to compare independent proportions related to overdose, naloxone, and satisfaction with the training between key subgroups, and paired t-tests were used to compare participant responses to a range of items pre- and post-participation in the training.
RESULTS: Between January–October 2015, 4804 first responders took the training; 1697 (35.3%) agreed to be contacted; of these, 387 (22.8%) completed a survey about the training and subsequent overdose response experiences. The majority (86.4%) were from Pennsylvania, with police representing over half of the sample. Analysis of the post-training survey indicates high satisfaction with content, format and mode of delivery, and high satisfaction with items related to confidence and overdose reversal preparedness.
CONCLUSIONS: This study demonstrates the feasibility and acceptability of implementing online training for first responders in overdose prevention, recognition and response.
Implementation of online opioid overdose prevention, recognition and response trainings for professional first responders: Year 1 survey results
Drug and Alcohol Dependence, 169, 1-4. doi: 10.1016/j.drugalcdep.2016.10.003. PMCID: PMC5140716.