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Creating Safe Scenes Training Course


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This free online course helps first responders assist individuals in crisis with mental illness or substance use disorder using safe, positive approaches.

Creating Safe Scenes is a free, Commission on Accreditation for Pre-Hospital Continuing Education (CAPCE)-accredited, online training course that helps first responders—police, fire, and emergency medical services—work with individuals experiencing a mental health and/or substance use crisis.

This course is designed to help first responders understand more about mental health, mental illness, and substance use disorders so they can better assess risks and apply the safest strategies for taking care of themselves and the individuals they are called to serve.

Creating Safe Scenes—which includes first-hand video accounts from responders and mental health consumers, quizzes, resources, and a final exam—will help first responders:

  • Understand how individuals come to experience a behavioral health crisis
  • Understand how best to make a safe connection with an individual experiencing a crisis
  • Learn about de-escalation strategies for working with people in crisis
  • Learn strategies for developing community networks and referral resources
  • Understand how to improve the safety of both the responder and the individual in crisis

For additional trainings, including those specifically designed for first responders, visit the Online DTAC Training Courses web page.

Take the Course

Guests can take the course to receive a certificate of completion without registering. Guests must complete the training course in one session to obtain the certificate of completion. The course cannot be restarted.

To receive continuing education units (CEUs) from CAPCE, contact the SAMHSA Disaster Technical Assistance Center (DTAC) at or 800–308–3515 for an account prior to completing this course. You will need to provide your name, address, email address, and National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians (NREMT) or professional license number, expiration date, and state in which your license is valid. You will receive a confirmation email with your login information and a link to the course once you are registered.

Learn More About CAPCE CEUs

Creating Safe Scenes is accredited by CAPCE for 1.5 credit hours.

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Course Reviewer

Kendall K. Hall (M.D., St. Louis University School of Medicine, and M.S., Healthcare Quality and Patient Safety, Northwestern University) is a Principal Associate, Health and Environment at Abt Associates, where she manages national projects in patient safety and healthcare quality improvement. She previously served as a Managing Director at IMPAQ International, where she led the work of IMPAQ’s Quality Improvement and Patient Safety content area and served as project director and senior advisor on related projects. She served as Project Director for the National Content Developer for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Partnership for Patients initiative, which aimed to reduce all-cause patient harm and reduce readmissions for hospitalized patients. She also served as a senior technical advisor on two programs: CMS’s Strategic Innovation Engine and the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ) TeamSTEPPS (Team Strategies & Tools to Enhance Performance & Patient Safety). Dr. Hall also served as a Medical Officer in the AHRQ Center for Quality Improvement and Patient Safety. Dr. Hall is board certified in emergency medicine.


For questions about the online course, or all other disaster technical assistance inquiries, contact SAMHSA DTAC at 800–308–3515 or

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