Overview of Public Safety Courses

Public safety courses provide the educational background for a range of public safety career fields. They teach individuals how to determine and prevent potential threats, how to effectively and ethically intervene, and how to alleviate any distress that may occur from the situation.

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Essential Information

Public safety courses are offered in undergraduate certificate and degree programs in fire protection technology, paramedic, public safety management and criminal justice. Graduate-level courses are often found in master's degree programs in public safety leadership and homeland security. These courses examine topics in homeland security, public safety ethics and first responding.

Here is an outline of common concepts taught in public safety courses:

  • Legal systems
  • Law enforcement
  • National public safety
  • Prison management
  • Fire management
  • Rescue procedures
  • Emergency medical services

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  • Community Health and Preventive Medicine
  • Environmental Health
  • Health Physics
  • Health Services Administration
  • International Health
  • Maternal and Child Health
  • Medical Scientist
  • Occupational Health and Industrial Hygiene
  • Public Health Education
  • Public Health Medicine, Treatment

List of Typical Public Safety Courses

Criminal Justice Course

This course examines the principles and practices of public safety, with an emphasis on the criminal justice system. Students review topics such as criminal law, corrections, the judicial system, organized crime and policy-community relations. This course looks at the historical role and function of law enforcement, private security and other agencies involved in the criminal justice system. Ethical issues inherent in this field are also discussed.

Homeland Security Course

Students learn about national security and the protection of America's property, lands and citizens. This course explores the various issues facing homeland security, including international and domestic terrorism. Individuals discuss how multi-jurisdictional agencies work together to ensure public safety through shared technology, intelligence and responsibility. This course helps students gain a deeper understanding of federal, state and local public safety agencies.

Corrections Officer Course

This course focuses on the duties and responsibilities of a corrections officer. Students discuss the legal basis for a corrections system under the U.S. Constitution, criminal procedures and penal codes. Individuals explore community-based corrections, including residential confinement, parole and probation. This course teaches the professional skills needed to perform successfully within a prison management environment.

Basic Firefighter Course

This public safety course looks at the skills and education needed to be a firefighter. Students will review topics such as self-contained breathing apparatus, fire behavior, personal protective equipment, fire-fighting devices and hazardous materials. Advanced training includes managing fires in institutional and commercial buildings, practicing rescue procedures and understanding building construction.

First Responder Course

This course provides an overview of first responders to an emergency medical scene. Students learn the role of the first responder in assessing a patient's condition and performing life-saving treatment until emergency ambulatory assistance arrives. Topics include the CPR administration, patient immobilization and shock treatment. This course serves as the foundation to become an emergency medical technician and, later, a paramedic.

Ethical and Legal Issues in Public Safety Course

Students review the legal and ethical issues related to the broad range of public safety occupations and organizations. This course looks at how the law and ethics have an impact on decision-making and in the development of policies, behavior and judgment. Past legal decisions are reviewed to understand their effect on public safety organizations.

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