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Fire & Emergency Response Management

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Online and Continuing Education
(920) 424-0234
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The UW Oshkosh Fire & Emergency Response Management program has earned the Fire and Emergency Services Higher Education(FESHE) recognition certificate.

Browse the FERM Courses!

The online FERM program consists of general education courses and FERM core courses. Coursework will help students gain a better understanding of what it means to be a leader in today’s marketplace.

 Download the full FERM course worksheet. 

Previous credits and prior work experience may count for some requirements. Contact the program advisor for a credit transfer estimate!

General Education Courses (University Studies Program)

Students are required to complete 41 general education credits, which are listed below. Many students who enroll in the online Fire & Emergency Response Management program have previous credits that transfer in place of these courses.

  • Quest I, II and III (for students who transfer 0–15 credits)
  • Transition Year Experience (for students who transfer 16–59 credits)
  • Quest Writing (3 credits)
  • Quest Speaking (3 credits)
  • Math (3 credits)
  • Laboratory Science (8 credits)
  • Culture Electives (9 credits)
  • Society Electives (9 credits)
  • Ethnic Studies Elective (3 credits)
  • Advanced Writing (3 credits)




FERM 335  – Fire and Emergency Services Leadership

Course Description:  This course designed to be a progressive primer for students who want more knowledge about fire and emergency services administration. The course demonstrates the importance of the following skills, necessary to manage and lead a fire and emergency department through the challenges and changes of the 21st century: Persuasion and influence, accountable budgeting, anticipation of challenges and the need for change, and using specific management tools for analyzing and solving problems. A central part of the course focuses on how the leadership of a fire and emergency services department develops internal and external cooperation to create a coordinated approach to achieving the department’s mission.

FERM 362 or Public Administration 362 – Public Personnel Management

Course Description: Personnel concepts and techniques in public organization, staffing, career systems, affirmative action, public unionism, compensation, fringe benefits, motivation, evaluation, supervisor-supervisee relations, etc. Traditional, behavioral and reform approaches in personnel administration. Prerequisite: Public Affairs 221 or Criminal Justice 212 or consent of the instructor.

Public Administration 369 – Economy and Government

Course Description: This course is an introduction to public budgeting systems and principles and practices of local government budgeting.  The emphasis is on budget formulation, design, techniques and evaluation.  The primary goal is get students comfortable with examining and creating public budgets and financial statements.  This will be done by examining the political context surrounding public budgeting, exploring different accounting methodologies, budget design, and financial management.


Liberal Studies 463 – Budgeting for Program Managers

Course Description:  This course examines how to prepare and manage a budget plan for a municipal fire and EMS department, with an emphasis on resource management. Resource management emphasizes using a department’s resources in the most efficient way possible. These resources include tangible goods and equipment, financial resources, and labor resources.

Public Administration 307  – Administrative Law and Procedure

Course Description: This course examines the legal aspects of the fire service and political and social impacts of legal issues. This course includes a review of the American legal system, an in depth coverage of legal and political issues involving employment and personnel matters, administrative and operational matters, planning and code enforcement, and legislative and political processes with regard to the fire service.. Prerequisite: Public Affairs 221 or Criminal Justice 212 or consent of instructor.

FERM 337  – Conflict Resolution for Emergency Services

Course Description: Designed to introduce learners to the study of ADR, or Alternative dispute resolution, this course explores the resolution of conflict through negation, mediation and arbitration. A variety of approached for resolving conflict will be examined, from the adjudicative (arbitration, private or special judging, neutral fact-finding) to the evaluative (peer, lay, judicial, and expert evaluation) to the meditative. Emphasis is given to the meditative process and its usefulness in the Fire and Emergency service industry.


FERM 338  – Mentoring for Emergency Management Personnel

Course Description: This course will examine the principles and techniques of effective mentoring, the mentor as a change agent within the Fire and Emergency services and the impact mentoring programs have in organizational settings. Students will examine and critically analyze their own mentoring experiences, the content of existing programs, and propose recommendations on how to develop or enhance a mentoring culture within the Fire and Emergency services.

FERM 436 – Applied Research in Emergency Management

Course Description: This course examines the basic principles of research and methodology for analyzing current fire related research. The course also provides a framework for conducting and evaluating independent research in the following areas such as: fire dynamics, firefighter health and safety, fire test standards and codes, fire safety, risk analysis and loss control, fire service applied research and new trends in fire related research.

Liberal Studies 209 – Critical Thinking & Writing

Course Description:   Introduces the concept related to self-directed, lifelong learning with a focus on various types of thinking and writing skills through exposure to a broad range of academic subjects. Students will be introduced to the principles and processes involved in developing a learning portfolio, which will be required in their Capstone course. Prerequisite: WBIS 188, English 101, or department consent; only open to students enrolled in the Bachelor of Liberal Studies or Bachelor of Applied Studies.

Liberal Studies 230 – Introduction to Leadership

Course Description:  This course will introduce students to a variety of theories and issues involved with leadership, including power and influence, vision, values and ethics,; effecting changed through teams and coalition; and the importance of embracing diversity. Examples will be drawn from a broad range of contexts, including organizations, education, politics, and communities. Prerequisite: concurrent or prior enrollment in Liberal Studies 209 or department consent.

Public Administration 221 – Introduction to Public Administration

Historical role of administration in government; techniques and problems of executive leadership, finance, personnel, planning and control

Fire Service Management emphasis requirements: This emphasis is for the student who is interested in moving up in rank or becoming the executive fire chief of a fire service organization.

FERM 351 – Occupational Safety and Health in Emergency Services

Course Description: This course will provide the student with the basic understanding of occupational safety and health in the workplace, as it relates to emergency services.  Topics covered include historical perspectives, setting up safety and health programs and looking at risk management as a tool for reducing injuries and line of duty deaths. Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to take the NFPA Pro-Board Certification exams for the Incident Safety Officer and Health and Safety Officer, administered by the Fire Department Safety Officer’s Association.

FERM 401 – Fire Prevention Organization and Risk Management

Course Description: The theoretical framework for the understanding of the ethical, sociological, organizational, political and legal components of community risk reduction and a methodology for development of a comprehensive plan will be discussed.  This course will also examine the factors that shape fire risk and tools for fire reduction.

FERM 402  – Community Risk Reduction for Fire and Emergency Services

Course Description: This course provides a theoretical framework for the understanding of the ethical, sociological, organizational, political, and legal components of community risk reduction, and a methodology for the development of a comprehensive community risk reduction plan.

FERM 408  – Management of Emergency Medical Services

Course Description: Personnel, resource management, and quality improvement techniques are some of the major components of this course.  Emphasis is placed on the role of the professional fire and emergency manager as coordinator and member of the profession. Upon completion of this course, the students will be able to enhance the quality and overall effectiveness of their EMS operation through the use of management techniques.

Communication 322 – Online Studies of Intercultural Communication 

Course Description:  An examination of cultural influences on human interaction in a variety of contexts. Theoretical and practical aspects of intercultural communicate are explored.

Emergency Management emphasis requirements: This emphasis is for the student interested in becoming a city/county emergency manager or working on the state, regional or federal level to assist in disaster preparation, mitigation and recovery.

FERM 340 – Introduction to Emergency Management

Course Description: This course will provide students with an understanding of emergency management, the history and development, how past events helped to shape the discipline and thoughts about the current future direction. History has provided us with insight into our strengths and weaknesses and how we can learn from these past events, including predictive planning, mitigation, preparedness, response and recovery.

FERM 365 or Public Administration 365  – Politics of Emergency Management

Course Description: This course will focus on the political processes, institutional structures, public policies and social phenomena associated with mitigating the likely effects of extreme events, responding to them and recovering from them. The course is intended to help emergency managers develop an understanding of how local, state, federal and intergovernmental politics affect and are affected by hazards, crises, disasters and other extreme events. Prerequisite: Public Administration 221 or Criminal Justice 212 or consent of the instructor.

FERM 366 or Public Administration 366  – Emergency Planning and Administration

Course Description: This course will introduce the concepts, theories, principles and practices of emergency planning and administration. It is intended to provide students with the analytic tools and techniques they can use in ranking risks and anticipating crises and then developing and implementing strategic preparedness programs in the public sector. The course will identify the various aspects of government and nonprofit planning for emergencies and show how these plans are tied to budgets, operational controls and public accountability. Prerequisite: Public Administration 221 or Criminal Justice 212 or consent of the instructor.

FERM 341 – Technology in Emergency Management

Course Descriptions: In this course students will learn how the coordinated application of emergency management principles and decision making are enhanced through the use of technology. Technology enables organizations involved in critical incident management to communicate in a variety of ways with each other as well as the public. Students will learn how to prioritize and purchase technology tools that can be used to protect for the community.

FERM 342 – Disaster Operations and Decision Making

Course Description: This course adapts decision-making concepts and combines them with disaster lessons learned to create a new operational paradigm. Emphasis is placed on team building, Emergency Operations Center operational systems and situational awareness. These methods are designed to be incorporated into the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command Systems (ICS) framework to enhance community response to any type of disaster.



Brandon Pannier
(920) 424-0234


The UW Oshkosh FERM program is accredited by the Higher Learning Commission (HLC). The program is also accredited by the International Fire Service Accreditation Congress (IFSAC), which is a nonprofit system of fire service certification programs and higher education fire-related degree programs.