Emergency Management Graduate Certificate Open Fall Semester

 By: Ashley Duvelius

UC’s new Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management program capitalizes on two of the university’s existing academic strengths—engineering and medical technologies. Over 30 experienced educators and practitioners team teaching a solid well-orchestrated curriculum, world-class research and advanced technology combine to provide the knowledge required to confront and master 21s century challenges.


The objective of the new Graduate Certificate in Emergency Management is to prepare emergency responders, corporate and school security and emergency management officials to manage emergency situations on every scale. 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, the Gulf oil spill, rogue nations and the continuous threat of terrorist attacks demand that responders have the background, advanced training, organizational skills and planning to address a crisis as it unfolds.

EMT arrives

Emergency teams arrive

“Led by professor William M. Kramer, PhD and former director of the UC Fire Science Program. we designed UC’s new Emergency Management Graduate Certificate to address today’s crucial need for trained emergency responders by putting together and offering various disciplines unlike any other program currently available,” says Lawrence Bennett, JD, BA, CEAS assistant professor educator.  

In August, UC Fire Science launches 7 new graduate certificate courses and 4 new undergraduate courses. Apart from standard university offerings, UC utilizes a diverse team of over 30 professors who are experts on different subject matters. These experts, like the courses they teach, include firemen, policemen, private security consultants, federal agents, and administrators from assistance agencies at all levels from the community to the federal government.

The new certificate is valuable to professionals across agencies for many reasons. Its courses encompass homeland security, hazardous materials, hospital security, private industry preparedness and related fields. Due to the breadth of knowledge within each course, professionals are able to take courses with content in or closely related to their field. The certificate is designed to complement any bachelor’s degree that first responders already hold.

DeCon tent

Sets-up in minutes to provide decontamination service

With the knowledge of his teaching teams, Bennett guarantees students will learn the best practices and procedures to deal with emergencies of limited or large scale.. Building on UC’s strengths in the fields of medical, legal, engineering and law enforcement, students take courses spanning the many aspects of an emergency and its aftermath. The certificate is designed to complement any bachelor’s degree that first responders already hold.

The new graduate certificate courses are:

►  Foundations of Emergency Management & Homeland Security

►  Legal & Political Issues & Application of New Technologies

►  Homeland Security & Emergency Management Grants/ New Technologies

►  Unified Planning & Response—Integration of Local, Stated, Federal & Military Organizations

►  Integrated Approach to Planning & Response for Medical Management of Terrorism and Large-Scale Incidents

►  Responding to Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, Chemical and Explosive Attacks

►  Regional Approach to Hazmat, Hospital, School & Corporate Security

To ensure that their lessons are driven home, each professor assigns students a field assignment to give them hands-on learning experiences. For instance, Bennett charges his students with the task of seeing how much ammonia nitrate fertilizer they can purchase at one time. He then takes their results and shows the students how it relates to national disasters, such as the Oklahoma City Bombing, in which a large quantity of ammonia nitrate was used.    

Fire Rages

Wildfire engulfs homes

Undergraduate courses are centered on the college’s bachelor’s degree in fire science technology. Four new courses are being added to the curriculum beginning fall semester. The courses are:

►  Data Analysis & Statistics For Fire & EMS

►  EMS Management

►  Budget, Finance & Communications

►  EMS Legal & Political Issues

EMS Management is added because 70-80% of fire department runs are EMS responses. To turn firefighters into fire chiefs, students take a Budget, Finance & Communications course taught by both a Fire Chief and a speech professor. Utilizing their combined skills, students learn how to build a budget and also how to “sell” it to a board of trustees. In EMS Legal & Political Issues, students utilize a new electronic textbook so as to emphasize current issues and developments affecting firefighters and emergency personnel.

A number of emergency management and homeland security courses were established in the years immediately following 9/11.  UC had the luxury of learning from those early courses. “One of things I learned at the University and Agency Partnership Initiative (UAPI) conference is that you have to separate yourself from the pack and highlight the strengths of your university,” said Bennett. “We are using technology and research coupled with practical experience and leveraging the hundreds of years of knowledge within our instruction teams for truly unique educational outcomes.”

The certificate’s value is further enhanced as an Articulation Agreement with Eastern Kentucky University (EKU) enables certificate holders to complete a master’s degree at EKU.  Certificate holders have an opportunity to transition to EKU to finish a master’s degree. UC-CEAS is a partner within the Center for Homeland Defense and Security’s (CHDS) UAPI.

UC Fire Science is hosting a preview of the entire Fire Science Graduate Certificate on June 12, 2012. The seminar is free, includes a special lunch program and counts as 6 hours of Continuing Education. It is open to emergency response personnel in the Greater Cincinnati Area. The preview allows those interested in the program to interact with instructors following course capsule overviews.

Prospective students will view the entire course content and objectives. Arrangements have been made to have special appearance by Cincinnati FD Bomb Squad, Greater Cincinnati Airport Disaster Unit, Hamilton County SWAT Command Vehicle, and access to Hazmat/WMD Suits/ PPE in a special lunch program.

Interested professionals should contact Larry Bennett at: Lawrence.bennett@uc.edu or 513-556-6583 to reserve a seat.