First Responders

Regional Trainings for Post-Overdose Response Teams

Communities across the state are coming together to create an effective response to the significant increase in overdose deaths in recent years. Post-overdose response teams (PORTs; also called Quick Response Teams, Rapid Response, Community Response Teams, etc.) are an emerging strategy to meaningfully engage with people who have experienced overdose. These teams follow up with patients who have experienced an overdose within 72 hours. Teams seek to link the patient with appropriate care ranging from harm reduction services to treatment to recovery supports.

The NC Office of Emergency Medical Services in partnership with the NC Division of Public Health are hosting several regional trainings for post-overdose response team (PORT) development across the state. These PORT Trainings will equip participants to start or continue development of programs in partnership with first responders and harm reductionists. In addition to EMS-based partnerships, teams will learn to meaningfully engage with people with lived experience, people in recovery, and other harm reduction specialists when developing and operating PORTs.

All first responders and public safety professionals are highly encouraged to attend a training. These trainings are open to anyone who is interested in developing a post-overdose response team in their community.

Training Objectives

  • Take a critical look at our understanding of substance use disorders, addiction science, and people who use drugs (PWUD).
  • Gain an understanding of additional appropriate interventions, treatment, and linkage to care options for PWUD.
  • Examine what prevents people from seeking treatment.
  • Provide first responders and community partners with strategies aimed to identify resources in their community to support their team and how to make referrals to these agencies.
  • Equip you to develop a post-overdose response team to serve as a strategic approach to address overdose within your community.

Approximately 8 regional trainings for PORT development will be conducted across the state starting on the eastern side and through the western side over January to July 2019. The training will be one full business day (8a-5p). We are unable to provide travel support for attendance. Each training will cover the same information.

Current trainings that are open for registration:

Post-Overdose Response Team Regional Training Option
Friday, June 21, 2019: 8:00am - 5:00pm

Southwestern Community College, Public Safety Training Center
225 Industrial Park Loop
Franklin NC 28734

  • No fee for public safety and first responder employees. Continuing education credits will be provided (6 CE hours from OEMS).
  • $70 Fee for all other attendees (local health departments, non-profits, community volunteers, peer supports, clinicians, etc). See registration page for payment details. Contact Todd Sumner if you need additional payment information.

Full schedule of anticipated trainings:

1. Ahoskie, Hertford County (Roanoke-Chowan Community College): Jan 25.
2. Kenansville, Duplin County (James Sprunt Community College): Feb 8.
3. Lillington, Harnett County (Central Carolina Community College-Harnett): March 1.
4. Concord, Cabarrus County (Cabarrus County Sheriff's Office): April 16.
5. Asheville, Buncombe County (A-B Technical Community College, Woodfin Campus): May 21.
6. Franklin, Macon County (Southwestern Community College, Public Safety Training Center): June 21.
7. Colfax, Guilford (Guilford Technical Community College): July 25 – Register here.
8. Wilkesboro, Wilkes County (Wilkes Community College): August 13 – Register here.
9. Hertford, Perquimans County: August 27 – Register here.

For questions regarding the post-overdose response team regional trainings contact:
McKenzie Beamer, NC OEMS, at or
Amy Patel, DPH,

Additional Resources

Fentanyl Information for First Responders
Map of NC Counties with Law Enforcement Carrying Naloxone
Map of NC Counties with EMS Naloxone Take Home Programs IDUs
Most recent data available on the NCDHHS DPH IVPB Poisoning Data webpage.