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PBHE413 - Special Operations in Emergency Medical Services

Course Details

Course Code: PBHE413 Course ID: 2992 Credit Hours: 3 Level: Undergraduate

This course deals with the specialized issues associated with emergency medical services—those issues that are not commonplace or part of everyday procedure. Topics include emergency medical services in mass casualty, biological, chemical and radiological incidents. The course also covers unique topics in emergency medical services, to include the employment of services in complex contingencies, such as those faced when fire, police, terrorist, and other emergencies co-exist with the need to provide medical services on-scene and post-disaster.

Course Schedule

Registration Dates Course Dates Session Weeks
02/24/20 - 07/31/20 08/03/20 - 09/27/20 Summer 2020 Session I 8 Week session
03/30/20 - 09/04/20 09/07/20 - 11/01/20 Summer 2020 Session D 8 Week session
04/27/20 - 10/02/20 10/05/20 - 11/29/20 Fall 2020 Session B 8 Week session
05/25/20 - 10/30/20 11/02/20 - 12/27/20 Fall 2020 Session I 8 Week session
06/29/20 - 12/04/20 12/07/20 - 01/31/21 Fall 2020 Session D 8 Week session

Current Syllabi

After successfully completing this course, you will be able to:

  • Differentiate between operational issues in everyday response to emergencies and those in mass casualty and disaster incidents.
  • Identify elements common to all disaster scenes.
  • Compare single agency incident command to unified command, where multiple jurisdictions co-exist to respond to a situation.
  • Compare and contrast incident management systems among various response agencies.
  • Discuss the benefits of unified command for multiple jurisdictional response situations.
  • Compare similarities and differences in response to naturally occurring and man- made disasters, such as terrorism.
  • Identify the components of the START triage system.
  • Assess emergency response capabilities in your communities and workplaces.

Reading Assignments

This course requires a time management plan and the self-discipline to follow it. You are responsible for managing your time, completing assignments on time, completing the readings, and making inquiries as needed to complete the course effectively. This is an eight-week course, which means the material must be learned in a short period. This requires dedication and diligence on the part of each student. Reading assignments will be graded through responses to questions on the final exam.


Please join the forums each week. Replies must be posted in the week due and replies after the end of the week will not be graded. The Forums are for student interaction and input should be submitted before the week ends to fully participate in the discussions. Students should demonstrate their own knowledge in the forums and avoid copying and pasting from websites.


  • Post the initial response to each forum by 11:55pm, ET, Wednesday.
  • Initial responses should be no less than 200 words.
  • Initial responses are to be original in content and demonstrate a thorough analysis of the topic.
  • Reply to at least 2 of your classmates in each forum by 11:55pm, ET, Sunday.
  • Replies to classmates should be no less than 100 words.
  • Responses to classmates are significant to advance the forum.
  • All forums can be accessed in the Forums section of the course.
  • Forum rubric is included in the forum section of the course
  • Additional guidelines for week one forum introduction are included in the forum tab within the course

  • More specific instructions for each forum can be found in the forum tab within the course.
  • Please refer to the Forum Rubric for details about grading criteria, late policy, etc.

Students will be responsible for providing a peer response posting for at least two (2) of their peers’ postings, unless there are less than 3 students in the course, where only one (1) peer posting will be required. Your peer postings should challenge or expound upon at least one of the points made by your peer. “I agree” does not constitute as an adequate response. As undergraduate students, you will be expected to provide comprehensive, relevant and well supported points in your assignments.

We all bring something unique to the classroom, from our understanding, our experiences, and our value systems. We honor and respect each person’s diverse beliefs to help us see beyond the classroom to be the most effective individuals we can be. Therefore, we should all be respectful of others while expressing our viewpoints and opinions. Proper netiquette behavior is expected. Any inflammatory, demeaning or disrespectful language in a posting will be immediately removed from the discussion space.


Final Exam: There is a final exam in the course consisting of essay questions. The final exam is open-book/resources with unlimited time. Additional details are included in the classroom in Tests and Quizzes.


FEMA Online Trainings: There are three online trainings that are required for this course. These assignments are completed at the FEMA website and the link and details are provided in the assignment tab.

Research Paper: An important component of this course is the research paper. The paper can be on a topic of your choice, but it must relate directly to the course material. You must use at least four academic bibliographic sources (paper or online) in addition to the required course readings. is not an acceptable academic reference at this university. The paper should be a minimum of 10 pages in length, not including the title, abstract (if written), or reference pages.

The research paper should include an introduction of the topic, a body in which the topic is developed and references correctly cited in APA format, and a well-defined conclusion.

Including an abstract is optional.

I strongly suggest that, as part of your research, you take advantage of the university’s online library link. There is a wide variety of resources there including many full text papers and articles. This may be an advantage to any of you who are deployed and do not have traditional library resources available to you.

I also recommend that you contact me with the topic of your paper before you begin your research. The topic you choose may be too broad or too narrow, and a discussion may help you to focus so that your learning will be maximized and your paper will be the best it can be.

You must submit your final papers through the assignment tab which includes This is a site that checks for plagiarism, as well as providing resources to assist you in preparing your paper. Be careful in your gathering of resources for your paper and do not copy directly from your sources! Your paper is due at the end of Week 7 of class.

As clearly stated in the Student Handbook, you must submit an original paper for each course that you take at APU/AMU. It is not acceptable to use the same paper for more than one class. You can use the same topic and change the focus if you like, but your work must be original to this course. Be assured that will let me know if you copy too much of a previous work!

Often, students submit papers with grammatical errors that are not picked up with Spell Check. One technique that might work for you is to read your paper aloud, to yourself or someone else, before you submit it. Often reading it aloud and seeing the words on the paper simultaneously will help you identify these grammatical errors that ultimately will cost you grading points.

The rubric by which your papers will be graded is included in the Course Overview section of the classroom.

  • More specific instructions for each assignment can be found in the Assignment tab within the course.
  • Assignments submitted late without advance notice AND instructor approval will receive a 5% per day late penalty and will not be accepted for grading five (5) days past the due date.
  • Refer to the Lessons and Resources sections in the classroom for information about all readings in this course.
  • Each week’s Lesson contains all the material for the week.
  • For most weeks, course readings are a mix of professional sources (such as peer-reviewed journal articles and governmental publications) and “popular” sources, such as newspaper articles, professional magazine articles, and websites intended for the public. All required course readings are freely downloadable from the course website or from other websites.
Book Title:Various resources from the APUS Library & the Open Web are used. Please visit to locate the course eReserve.*

Previous Syllabi

Not current for future courses.