Course Syllabus


Course:                        FES 3153: EMS Communications and Information Technology

Credit Hours:               3

Course Format:           Web-based Distance Learning.  On-line meetings will be scheduled. 

Instructor:                   Dr. Dennis Mitterer

Dennis Mitterer, PhD.

Dr. Mitterer has worked in EMS for over 25 years as an EMT and Paramedic, Operations Chief, and educator. He has earned a Master’s Degree in Management from Penn State University’s Smeal Business College, a nursing degree from Excelsior University, a Bachelor of Science in nursing from Penn State University and has earned the designation as a Certified Safety Professional (CSP), and Associate in Risk Management (ARM). He earned his Ph.D. in Leadership and Organizational change from Walden University.

As a member of the faculty for Western Governor's University he guides adult students through their course of study in Finance, Accreditation and Auditing, Technology Application, and Strategy Development. Dr. Mitterer also teaches courses at Pa College of Health Sciences and is a Faculty Advisor for EMS at Franklin & Marshall College. He taught as an Adjunct Professor for Lebanon Valley College’ master’s program, Immaculata College where he taught; Management, Strategic Planning, Human Resources and Research, and Harrisburg Area Community College where he instructs in the Paramedic program. As a nationally recognized speaker and writer, Dr. Mitterer challenges audiences to think creatively about EMS topics.

Professional affiliations include; American Society of Safety Engineers, American College of Healthcare Executives, National Association of EMS Educators, National Association of EMTs and the Institute for Behavioral and Applied Management.

Office Hours: As an on-line course, there are no regular ‘office’ hours.  You can email me at any time through Canvas.

Course Website:

Course Communications: There is a General Discussion tab that can be used, or send me an email through the course email. Urgent messages can be sent to my

Required Text:

EMS Communications and Information Technology (2015) J. Lindsey; Brady Publishing (Pearson), ISBN 978-0-13-260701-8

COURSE DESCRIPTION:  This course introduces the FES professional to topics that include: the communications process; intra-agency communications; interagency communications; public information officer functions; public information and communications; introduction to information systems; records management; NEMSIS; National Fire Incident reporting system; and data collection.

PREREQUISITE KNOWLEDGE AND SKILLS:  No prerequisites for the course are needed.

PURPOSE OF COURSE:    This course provides the concepts of communication as it relates to a communication center in emergency services. It provides the foundation for technology and record keeping.  


Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

  1. The student will better understand the role of communications in an emergency medical services system.
  2. The student will understand the role of the public information officer.
  3. The student will understand information systems and records management.
  4. The student will understand the purpose and processes of NEMSIS and the National Fire Incident Reporting System.
  5. The student will understand the importance of data collection.


  1. The student will interpret and apply the terminology, concepts, methodologies and theories used within the communication and information profession.
  2. The student expresses ideas in a convincing, organized, clear, coherent manner that is nearly error free and uses a style and language appropriate to the emergency services and information management profession.
  3. Submitted written assignments should include such elements as well-crafted paragraphs, a persuasive organizational structure (e.g., introduction, body, conclusion; or introduction, methods, results, discussion), well-supported claims, and appropriate and effective stylistic elements adhering to APA style 6th edition.
  4. The student considers the issues from multiple perspectives, logically analyzes evidence from credible, relevant sources, and develops reasoned conclusions.

INSTRUCTIONAL METHODS:  The course is designed for individual and group interactivity. It is important to post and respond to discussion questions in the course within the time frame allotted. Discussions should be completed early in the week that they are due to provide an opportunity for all students to participate. This provides a learning environment by networking with other students in the course. The assignments are individual base to give you the opportunity to do a variety of activities, in many cases, similar to what you will be doing in role as a leader in the emergency services profession.









Module 1 History of EMS Communication

EMS Communications and Information Technology: Chapter 1, pages 1 – 16


Record and upload Introduction Video

Discussion 1 – “What would you do?” situation on page 2

Assignment 1 – review questions on page 15



Module 2 Dispatch Center Organization

EMS Communications and Information Technology: Chapter 2, pages 17 – 29


Discussion 2 – “What would you do?” situation on page 18

Assignment 2 – review questions on page 28



Module  3 Human Resources

EMS Communications and Information Technology: Chapter 3, pages 30 – 46


Discussion 3 – “What would you do?” situation on page 31

Assignment 3 – review questions on page 45



Module  4 Training

EMS Communications and Information Technology: Chapter 4, pages 47 – 66


Discussion 4 – “What would you do?” situation on page 48

Assignment 4 – review questions on page 65



Module  5 EMS Dispatch

EMS Communications and Information Technology: Chapter 5, pages 67 – 85


Discussion 5 – “What would you do?” situation on page 68

Assignment 5 – review questions on page 84



Module  6 EMS Communication Policy and Procedure

EMS Communications and Information Technology: Chapter 6, pages 86 – 101


Discussion 6 – “What would you do?” situation on page 87

Assignment 6 – review questions on page 100



Module  7 Understanding EMS Dispatch Center Technology

EMS Communications and Information Technology: Chapter 7, pages 102 – 126


Discussion 7 – “What would you do?” situation on page 103

Assignment 7 – review questions on page 125



Module  8 Radio Systems

EMS Communications and Information Technology: Chapter 8, pages 127 – 146


Discussion 8 – “What would you do?” situation on page 128

Assignment 8 – review questions on page 145



Module  9 National Standards, Performance Standards, and Quality Assurance

EMS Communications and Information Technology: Chapter 9, pages 147 – 167

Discussion 9 – “What would you do?” situation on page 148

Assignment 9 – review questions on page 166



Module  10 Conducting a Risk Assessment

EMS Communications and Information Technology: Chapter 10, pages 168 - 182


Discussion 10– “What would you do?” situation on page 169

Assignment 10 – review questions on page 182



Module  11 Contingency Issues

EMS Communications and Information Technology: Chapter 11, pages 183 – 200

Discussion 11 – “What would you do?” situation on page 184

Assignment 11 – review questions on page 199



Module  12 Future of EMS Dispatch

EMS Communications and Information Technology: Chapter 12, pages 201 – 214

Discussion 12 – “What would you do?” situation on page 202

Assignment 12 – review questions on page 214

Final assignment – Complete and submit the final paper

Disclaimer:  This syllabus represents my current plans and objectives. As we go through the semester, those plans may need to change to enhance the class learning opportunity. Such changes, communicated clearly, are not unusual and should be expected.

Course Policies 

The course is designed in module format. You should check the site at least once a week. You are required to complete the assignments including discussion questions within the time period designated on the module. There may be meetings set up throughout the course. Requirements for class attendance and make-up exams, assignments, and other work in this course are consistent with university policies that can be found in the online catalog.

Academic Integrity Policy:

Plagiarism: Presenting as one's own the ideas, words, or products of another. Plagiarism includes the use of any sources to complete academic assignments without proper acknowledgment of the source.

Cheating: is a broad term that includes the following:

    • Giving or receiving help from unauthorized persons or materials during examinations.
    • The unauthorized communication of examination questions prior to, during, or following administration of the examination.
    • Collaboration on examinations or assignments expected to be individual work.
    • Fraud and deceit, that include knowingly furnishing false or misleading information or failing to furnish appropriate information when requested, such as when applying for admission to the University.

Quiz/Exam Policy

There is a final paper for this course. There are no exams or quizzes.

Make-up Policy

Make-up assignments will only be accepted due to technical issues, illness, and other extenuating circumstances. You must contact your instructor before the assignment's due date for special accommodations.

Any requests for make-ups due to technical issues MUST be accompanied by the ticket number received from the UF Computing Help Desk when the problem was reported to them. The ticket number will document the time and date of the problem. You MUST message your instructor within 24 hours of the technical difficulty if you wish to request a make-up.

Late Assignments and Discussions Policy

  • Assignments up to 48 hours late will receive a 10% deduction in their grade.
  • Assignments more than 48 hours but less than 30 days late will receive a 20% deduction in their grade.
  • Assignments more than 30 days late but submitted during the semester will receive a 50% deduction in their grade.
  • Discussions more than 48 hours late will receive a 25% deduction in their grade.
  • Discussions more than 48 hours later will receive a 50% deduction in their grade.

Please note that any student that has less than 75% of their work complete for the semester cannot earn an “I” contract. If you have 75% of the work complete, you can propose an “I” contract to the instructor.

It is your responsibility to keep your instructor informed at all times. The instructor does have the right under extenuating circumstances with proper notification to assist the student by extending the above time requirements.

Course Technology

Class meetings will require a web camera and mic/audio. If you are not able to use a web camera you will need to at least provide audio/mic, you can call in on a phone also.

 Grading Policies 

Assignments, Discussions, and the Final Paper will be returned, graded with feedback within one week (7 days) after submission.

Grade Distribution

Assessment Points Each Total Points
  Discussions  (x12) 10 pts each 120 pts
  Homework Assignments  15 pts each 180
  Final Paper 100 pts
  Total 400 pts

Grading Scale

A 93% - 100%
A- 90% - 92%
B+ 87% - 89%
B 83% - 86%
B- 80% - 82%
C+ 77% - 79%
C 73% - 76%
C- 70% - 72%
D+ 67% - 69%
D 63% - 66%
D- 60% - 62%
E 0 - 59%

Information about UF's current grading policies may be found at the UF Grades and Grading Policies website.

Student Feedback Surveys 

Every semester, students will complete two surveys to give feedback to the instructor regarding the elements of this course. These surveys are anonymous and are a way for you to provide honest feedback on the course. This feedback is essential to provide the best quality instruction and give you, the learner, the best learning experience. You are asked to give your honest opinion and to share any advice you have to make the course better. You will be asked questions regarding the instructor's presence, lectures, assignment quality, etc.

Mid-Course Survey

The Mid-Course Survey will take place during Module 6 of the course. This survey will act as a prerequisite for the rest of the modules and will require completion before moving forward in the course. The survey is anonymous.

End-of-Course Survey

The End-of-Course Survey will take place during Module 11 of the course. This survey will act as a prerequisite for the final module and will require completion before moving forward. The survey is anonymous.

 UF Policies

Policy on Accommodating Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities requesting accommodations should first register with the Disability Resource Center (352-392-8565) by providing appropriate documentation. Once registered, students will receive an accommodation letter that must be presented to the instructor when requesting accommodation. Students with disabilities should follow this procedure as early as possible in the semester.

The instructor should be notified of any special accommodations required by the student when they begin their course.

For information and resources on accessibility, follow this link - The University of Florida Accessibility Policies and Resources.

UF Counseling Services

Resources are available on campus for students having personal problems or lacking clear career and academic goals which interfere with their academic performance. These resources include:

University Policy on Academic Misconduct

UF students are bound by The Honor Pledge which states:

"We, the members of the University of Florida community, pledge to hold ourselves and our peers to the highest standards of honesty and integrity by abiding by the Honor Code. On all work submitted for credit by students at the University of Florida, the following pledge is either required or implied: "On my honor, I have neither given nor received unauthorized aid in doing this assignment."

The Honor Code specifies behaviors that are in violation of this code and the possible sanctions. Furthermore, you are obligated to report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel. If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with the instructor or TAs in this class.

From Regulations of the University of Florida, 4.041 Student Honor Code and Student Conduct Code: Scope and Violations:

Plagiarism. A student shall not represent as the student's own work all or any portion of the work of another. Plagiarism includes but is not limited to:

  1. Quoting oral or written materials including but not limited to those found on the internet, whether published or unpublished, without proper attribution.
  2. Submitting a document or assignment which in whole or in part is identical or substantially identical to a document or assignment not authored by the student."

From Regulations of the University of Florida, 6C1-4.047 Student Honor Code and Student Conduct Code: Sanctions:

For a violation or violations of the Honor Code, a student may receive any of the sanctions that can be imposed for Student Conduct Code violations, including but not limited to conduct probation, suspension and expulsion as well as any educational sanctions. In addition, students may receive the following:

  1. Assignment grade penalty. The student is assigned a grade penalty on an assignment including but not limited to a zero.
  2. Course grade penalty. The student is assigned a grade penalty in the entire course including but not limited to an 'E'."

Course Evaluation

Students are expected to provide professional and respectful feedback on the quality of instruction in this course by completing course evaluations online via GatorEvals.

Guidance on how to give feedback in a professional and respectful manner is available at the GatorEvals website. Students will be notified when the evaluation period opens and can complete evaluations through the email they receive from GatorEvals, in their Canvas course menu under GatorEvals, or via the GatorEvals portal. Summaries of course evaluation results are available to students on the GatorEvals Public Data website.

Course Summary:

Date Details