EMS/Disaster Medicine Division

EMS teamCooper’s EM program offers residents a unique experience in EMS and Disaster Medicine. The Division of EMS/Disaster Medicine provides expertise in Emergency Medicine Services, Disaster Medicine, and Public Health. Our residents provide daily medical command to our ground and flight crews, and provide care on field paramedic, EMS physician, and air medical units (optional). Cooper’s ACGME accredited EMS Fellowship further enriches resident EMS and Disaster training through EMS research, EMS specific didactics/ Journal club, and the regular field presence of EMS physicians. Residents graduate understanding the role of physicians in EMS medical direction and medical command, how to collaborate with different organizations during a disaster response, and how to provide appropriate care during mass casualty incidents.

The Division of EMS/Disaster Medicine:

  • Offers medical direction to Basic Life Support, ground transport, and air medical services to implement protocols and to support an effective performance improvement process for a standardized level of care.
  • Provides subject matter expertise related to emergency medical services and disaster medicine, including emergency medicine, trauma, pediatrics, toxicology, infectious diseases, and environmental safety.
  • Provides education and training for all audiences involved in emergency medical services and disaster management through didactics, simulation technology, performance improvement activities, and the National Disaster Life Support Regional Training Center.
  • Participates in research initiatives to maintain the highest level of preparedness and pre-hospital care through evidence-based medicine.
  • Supports a medical strike team that can respond to large natural, chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, and traumatic mass casualty events.
  • Supports medical operations at scheduled large public venues.
  • Collaborates with local, state, regional, and federal partners to assist in the implementation of an effective EMS and emergency management system.


The curriculum in EMS and Disaster Medicine will provide residents first-hand experience in pre-hospital care, EMS medical command, and disaster preparedness/response.  Emergency physicians will be interacting with EMS providers regardless of the type of emergency department (urban, suburban, rural, academic, community); as a result, a basic understanding of the role of EMS and different EMS models is necessary to provide appropriate emergency care to patients coming by ambulance.  Emergency physicians are also expected to respond to disasters.  Emergency providers must know how to be safe and how to protect staff and the facility, as well as to collaborate with different organizations and agencies during the response, to provide appropriate care during a mass casualty incident.


The EMS rotation at Cooper provides an in-depth exposure to both EMS and disaster medicine.  Residents complete 2 Basic Life Support (BLS) shifts and 1 Camden Advanced Life Support (ALS) shift during July of their intern year providing an early introduction to local pre-hospital care. In the second year residents complete a two-week block devoted to EMS. This rotation includes 5 ALS shifts on local Paramedic units, one optional day flying with Cooper’s Air Med helicopter, and a shift in an EMS dispatch/ operations center. Residents will prepare and give an educational lecture for pre-hospital providers.  Longitudinally residents will also become certified in the national incident management system and Basic Disaster Life Support, and participate in a staged or actual mass casualty incident.  Starting in their PGY-2 year, residents will begin to provide base station medical command for local air and ground EMS and transport units during their regular emergency department shifts. 

EMS Track

The goal of the EMS track will be to obtain Emergency Medical Services expertise in order to ensure a seamless transition into an ACGME-accredited EMS fellowship. Over a 2 ½ year period residents who choose to focus on EMS will become familiar with EMS systems and operations, and will become proficient with EMS protocol development and implementation. They will learn skills in grantsmanship, and will participate in Quality Assurance and Improvement projects. They will perform the role of an assistant EMS medical director and provide direct field supervision for local EMS agencies. The EMS track is highly customizable and is intended to allow residents to carve out a solid niche in pre-hospital care.  

Disaster Medicine Track

The goal of the Disaster Medicine track will be to obtain an expertise in disaster preparedness and response from a patient care perspective, which can be further developed in a Disaster Medicine fellowship.  Over a 2 ½ year period, residents who choose to focus on Disaster Medicine will become familiar with Basic and Advanced Disaster Life Support, Advanced Hazmat Life Support, Weapons of Mass Destruction, Incident Command System, and the National Incident Management System. They will learn skills in grantsmanship, and will participate in disaster preparedness planning and education at a hospital, community, and regional level. They will perform the role of a physician responder and lead a medical team during a large-scale event or full-scale exercise. The Disaster Medicine track is highly customizable and is intended to allow residents to carve out a solid niche in emergency management. 


Seniors with a desire to develop expertise in EMS/Disaster Medicine can choose an elective that specifically meets their interests.  In this elective, residents can participate in the EMS medical direction program, to include education/training, protocol development, performance improvement, and outreach activities.  For Disaster Medicine, the resident can be part of the Incident Management Team and participate in planning and response initiatives. 

Additional courses are available to enhance their knowledge base in disaster medicine.


Cooper University Hospital (CUH) offers a one-year ACGME-accredited fellowship training program to prepare physicians for the practice of emergency medical services, a clinical specialty that includes the care of patients in all environments outside of traditional medical care facilities such as clinics, offices, and hospitals.  For more information, please click here.

EMT carsIf you have any questions, please feel free to email us:

Gerard Carroll, MD, EMT-P
EMS Medical Director
Department of Emergency Medicine 

Lisa Drago, DO, FAAP
EMS Medical Director, Pediatrics
Department of Emergency Medicine
Division of Pediatric Emergency Medicine

Rick Hong, MD, FACEP
Attending Physician
Department of Emergency Medicine

Aman Shah, MD
Attending Physician
Department of Emergency Medicine