Course Description

The online course prepares students for a challenging career as a professional EMS system manager in designing/modifying an EMS system. It first considers the determinants of a system, then examines both internal and external environmental factors in designing an EMS system. Next, human resource management and performance evaluation components are presented. Finally, the course will analyze how the system prepares for disasters and its counter measures.

Course Outline

The course is conducted in the following sequence:

  • Part One: EMS Positionality within Canadian Health Care
    Modules 1, 2 and 3 will examine the history and evolution of emergency medical services in the Canadian context with consideration to how the healthcare system may need to transition. You will compare emergency medical services with other healthcare services and consider the funding and resources challenges and opportunities. Your assessment within this section will be a multiple-choice quiz.
  • Part Two: EMS System Components
    Modules 4, 5 and 6 will focus on existing models of emergency medical service delivery with an emphasis on the Human Factors System approach. You will critically examine EMS collaborative and standalone models and their various components. You will apply this information to create a model of EMS delivery for a fictious community as your second graded assessment.
  • Part Three: Expanding the EMS System During Large-Scale Emergencies
    In Modules 7, 8 and 9, you will be introduced to methodologies and models to expand and contract the emergency medical service to effectively respond to large-scale disasters. You will apply the concepts in this section to obtain Incident Command System certification or to design an Emergency Operations Center for your chosen organization.
  • Part Four: Leadership within the EMS system
    In Modules 10, 11 and 12, you will consider the various styles of leadership as they may be applied within the EMS context. You will consider decision-making and communication styles as leadership skills within the EMS environment. You will apply these concepts to critically examine leadership success and challenges using a case study for your final graded assessment.

What You Will Learn

Upon completion of this course, students should be able to:
  1. Contrast the differences between a closed and an open system;
  2. Discuss the structural factors that influence, create, and alter the design of EMS systems;
  3. Classify the function of communication, co-ordination, and leadership in EMS settings;
  4. Categorize social and situational factors that influence EMS design;
  5. Formulate a comprehensive human resource recruiting plan for their EMS;
  6. Evaluate the performance of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) and/or EMS stations;
  7. Apply incident management techniques in either natural or man-made disasters.


This course is offered by Dalhousie University’s School of Health Administration.
By completing registration here, you will be enrolled via OpenCredit, a Dalhousie program that allows people to complete for-credit courses without enrolling in a degree. OpenCredit is administered by the Faculty of Open Learning & Career Development.

Students are expected to abide by all Dalhousie University policies. While enrolled in the course, you will have access to academic services including:
  • Library Access
  • Writing Centre
  • Bissett Student Success Centre
  • Student Accessibility Centre
  • Black Student Advising Centre
  • Indigenous Student Centre
Please note OpenCredit students do NOT have access to auxiliary on-campus services such as the Health Centre, DalPlex etc.
Upon successful completion of the course, you will be provided a Record of Achievement indicating your grade and the number of credit hours achieved. If you later enroll in a program at Dalhousie for which this course can be counted towards the requirements, you can apply to have the credit hours transferred to your permanent student record through the Registrar’s Office. 


There are no prerequisites, exclusions or restrictions on this course.

Recommended For

Professional EMS system managers or anyone whose work involves designing/modifying an EMS system
Thank you for your interest in this course. Unfortunately, the course you have selected is currently not open for enrolment. Please complete a Course Inquiry so that we may promptly notify you when enrolment opens.
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