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Preventing Opioid Exposure Training (POET) for First Responders

Award Information
Agency: Department of Health and Human Services
Branch: National Institutes of Health
Contract: 1R43ES030582-01
Agency Tracking Number: R43ES030582
Amount: $167,324.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: 142
Solicitation Number: PA20-135
Solicitation Year: 2018
Award Year: 2019
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2019-04-02
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2021-03-31
Small Business Information
Takoma Park, MD 20912-4481
United States
DUNS: 800210077
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: No
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 (301) 270-0647
Business Contact
Phone: (603) 672-2793
Research Institution

In this competitive revision Phase I SBIR, Gryphon Scientific proposes to expand the scope of the
ongoing project to support the urgent need to develop and deploy training for first responder
populations at risk of exposure to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The ongoing Phase I SBIR
project focuses on training first responders (including law enforcement, fire, and EMS personnel) to
recognize and manage the risks of occupational opioid exposures. The training video format was
chosen following formative research interviews with first responders, which revealed a clear
preference for training that could be administered to groups during short stand-up briefings. Currently,
training content specifically includes topics such as routes of opioid exposure, PPE, situational
awareness, and recognizing and responding to exposure events. In this supplemental application,
Gryphon proposes to expand the scope of the study by developing similar training videos on topics
related to the transmission of respiratory diseases, primarily focused on COVID-19. Specific topics
may include pathogen fundamentals, transmission routes, and recommended measures to manage
risk, including distancing measures when feasible, and the selection of appropriate personal
protective equipment (PPE) for various situations, including those where shortages preclude the use
of recommended PPE. Recognizing the urgent need to deploy this training to the first responder
community, videos would be published as free and ad-supported on YouTube immediately following
their development. These videos could be used as standalone just-in-time training, as refreshers
throughout the pandemic, or as multimedia supplements to longer, more comprehensive e-learning
courses to reinforce key principals using a dynamic and engaging medium.
Even before the pandemic, educators and researchers called for enhanced pathogen literacy in the
general public as an essential component of pandemic preparedness. This study proposes to collect
valuable data on learners’ understanding of pathogen safety fundamentals and the potential efficacy
of remote educational approaches to enhance microbiological literacy. Usability testing and
knowledge retention (both immediately after training and three months later) research will be
integrated into the base Phase I study by testing these videos at the same time as those on opioid
exposures. The initial products developed in this study may directly improve microbiological literacy
among at-risk populations, and these early studies may help to inform future training interventions.PROJECT NARRATIVE
Based on the formative research findings in our active grant, we are developing a series of training
videos to teach police officers and other first responders how to recognize and manage occupational
opioid exposure risks. Building on these findings, we plan to address the current need for first
responders to receive additional training on the transmission of respiratory diseases (particularly
COVID-19) through the development of short training videos on topics such as pathogen
fundamentals and transmission routes, and recommended measures to manage risk, including
distancing measures when feasible and the selection of appropriate personal protective equipment
(PPE) for various situations. The public interest in maintaining first responder safety will be well
served by these expansions to the scope of the existing work.

* Information listed above is at the time of submission. *

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