Course Syllabus



Course: Critical Incident Management

Course & Section: FES 4820

Credit Hours: 3

Session: Summer 2022



Lecturer  Adam A. Smith, MSFES, NREMT-P



Bio for Adam A. Smith

Adam Smith is a retired Lieutenant/Medic from Lumpkin County Emergency Services located an hour north of Atlanta in the North Georgia Mountains.  He began his career in emergency services in October of 1986 and retired July of 2020.  Adam has 34 years experience as a firefighter and paramedic.  He has been a Lecturer for the University of Florida since January of 2019 and holds national certifications as a Firefighter, Paramedic, Fire Officer, Various rescue designations, Public Safety Diver, Hazardous Materials Technician, and Instructor.  Adam has an Associates Degree in Fire Science Technology (Chattahoochee Technical College), Bachelors Degree in Fire and Emergency Services Management (University of Florida), and a Masters Degree in Fire and Emergency Services Management with a specialization in Disaster Management (University of Florida).


Office Hours:   My office hours are typically from 0800 am to 1200 pm on Monday and Friday.  On Tuesday and Thursday, my office hours are typically 0400 pm and 0800 pm.  This is subject to change. 


Course Communications:   The best way to communicate with me is via email through Canvas.  I will attempt to answer all emails in 24-48 hours.  If the need is urgent, I can be reached by text or phone call at 404-933-3676 between the hours of 0800 am and 0800 pm. 


Required Text:

Critical Incident Management (2nd Edition), 2012, Authors: Faggaino, V., McNall, J., and Gillespie, T.  Publisher: CRC Press, ISBN: 9781439874547

Additional Resources (Not Required but Recommended):  Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association (APA), 7th Edition (2020): Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. ISBN 978-1-4338-3217-8


Course Description:  

Critical Incident Management is a three (3) credit course scheduled to meet each summer semester via distance education (online learning) via the Canvas Learning Management System platform. It is a graded course and there are no prerequisites. The course describes the functional demands that emergency managers should be aware of in crafting effective emergency management plans, policies, and programs. It addresses how public policy choices impact emergency planning and the consequences of a disaster event. The emergency planning process itself is also emphasized.


Prerequisite Knowledge and Skills: None


Course Learning Objectives

The student will be able to:

  • Describe the four phases of emergency management
  • Making distinctions between natural and technological or man-made hazards
  • Discuss the role of government in managing natural and technological hazards
  • Describe the general evolution of emergency management in the U.S.
  • Describe and discuss the concept of “all-hazards” emergency management
  • Describe and discuss the kinds of problems that can occur when programs require intra-governmental, multi-organizational cooperation
  • Discuss basic planning concepts
  • Identify future trends in emergency management
  • Describe the elements of ICS 700 and IS 800


Course Goals

  1. The student will interpret and apply the terminology, concepts, methodologies and theories used within systems management.
  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 the analytic 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 7th edition.

The student considers the issues from multiple perspectives, logically analyzes evidence from credible, relevant sources, and develops reasoned conclusions


Teaching Philosophy: I am looking for students to demonstrate a working knowledge of the subject. You need to be creative when you complete your assignments but maintain a professional appearance of your work. Your work needs to be complete and in such a manner that someone can pick up your document and understand what you are trying to convey. And most of all your work needs to be supported with research and cited in properly in APA format.


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. 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.


Course Policies

Attendance Policy:  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 will 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 at: (Links to an external site.).

Instructor Response: I will respond to all student inquiries within 24-48 hours. If it is urgent, please contact me immediately.

Quiz/Exam Policy:  There is a final project for this course. There will be a 5 point Syllabus Exam.

Assignment Policy:  All assignments have a due date.  Please be sure to check the date and time it is due in each module or discussion.

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 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.
  • Discussion posts will strictly follow the Grading Rubric with no points give for timeliness after the due date.
  • All outstanding work must be submitted two weeks prior to the end of the semester.  No outstanding work will be accepted after this time.

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:  The course resides in the web-based Canvas learning management system, requiring access to the internet. 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.

Technical support: If you experience difficulties with accessing components of the site, including lectures, quizzes or tests, contact the UF help desk immediately. (352) 392-HELP (4357) |

If they are not able to resolve your problem, contact your instructor with your help desk ticket number and a description of the problem and steps taken to resolve it. Extensions for due dates will be granted for documented technical problems, as needed.


UF’s Honesty Policy  

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 honor 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 ( (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.) specifies a number of behaviors that are in violation of this code and the possible sanctions.  Furthermore, you are obliged to report any condition that facilitates academic misconduct to appropriate personnel. If you have any questions or concerns, please consult with the instructor of in this class.

Plagiarism:  All work submitted during this course has to be your own, original (for this class) work.  Understand that there are various types of plagiarism such as submitting a paper written by another person, resubmitting original work created for another class, or copying information from another source and claiming it as your own original work.  The ramifications will be severe for anyone caught plagiarising.


UF Policies

University Policy on Accommodating Students with Disabilities: Students requesting accommodation for disabilities must first register with the Dean of Students Office at The Dean of Students Office will provide documentation to the student who must then provide this documentation to the instructor when requesting accommodation. You must submit this documentation prior to submitting assignments or taking the quizzes or exams. Accommodations are not retroactive, therefore, students should contact the office as soon as possible in the term for which they are seeking accommodations.

University Policy on Academic Misconduct: Academic honesty and integrity are fundamental values of the University community. Students should be sure that they understand the UF Student Honor Code at 

**Netiquette: Communication Courtesy: All members of the class are expected to follow rules of common courtesy in all email messages, threaded discussions and chats. [Describe what is expected and what will occur as a result of improper behavior] (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site.


Getting Help

For issues with technical difficulties for E-learning in Sakai, please contact the UF Help Desk at:

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

Other resources are available at 

  • Counseling and Wellness resources
  • Disability resources
  • Resources for handling student concerns and complaints
  • Library Help Desk support

Should you have any complaints with your experience in this course please visit (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. to submit a complaint.


Grading Policies

The grade is based on a point system. You divide the total number of earned points into the total amount of points available to determine your grade. A grading rubric for the final project is under the Resource Tab on the course.


The final grade will be based on the following:

Discussion Participation                                        35%

Homework Assignments                                       35%

Final Exam-applied research paper                      30%

Total Grade                                                           100%


Grading Scale

A   = 94.0 to 100%     C   = 74.0 to 76.9
A-  = 90.0 to 93.9       C-  = 70.0 to 73.9
B+ = 87.0 to 89.9       D+ = 67.0 to 69.9
B   = 84.0 to 86.9       D   = 64.0 to 66.9
B-  = 80.0 to 83.9       D-  = 60.0 to 63.9
C+ = 77.0 to 79.9       F   = below 60  


Evaluation process

“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 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 Summaries of course evaluation results are available to students at”

Additionally, the link below is Honor Code for UF....... (PLEASE FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF)

Course Summary:

Date Details Due