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Associate Professor Erin Smith

Associate Professor

Contact Information Mobile: 0408148749, Email:, Campus: ,
Staff Member Details
Mobile: 0408148749


Erin is an Associate Professor in Disaster and Emergency Response within the School of Medical Sciences and is the Course Coordinator for the Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma and Master of Disaster and Emergency Response.

Current Teaching

  • DER6101: Introduction to emergency management
  • DER6102: Disaster preparedness and mitigation
  • DER6103: Major incident management
  • DER6104: Disaster health practice and humanitarian relief
  • DER6105: Psychological effects of disaster
  • DER6106: Advanced disaster management response
  • DER6107: Disaster recovery
  • MMP6102: Medical science masters project
  • PST3210: Prehospital perspectives in emergency management


Associate Professor Erin Smith has extensive experience teaching and researching within the multidisciplinary fields of prehospital and disaster response. She is a member of the Board of Directors of the World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine where she also holds the positions of Convenor of the Psychosocial Special Interest Group and Deputy Chair of the Oceania Chapter. Erin currently volunteers as a Research Consultant with The Code 9 Foundation, a charity established to help first responders with mental health illness support each other through both face-to-face and online peer-to-peer support. Erin also writes a monthly column "Let's Talk Mental Health" for the Australian Emergency Services Magazine. She is a member of the Research Committee of the Australian and New Zealand College of Paramedicine (ANZCP), a Research Mentor for the ANZCP's mentor scheme and a member of the Victoria Chapter of Paramedics Australasia (PA). Erin sits on the Editorial Boards of the journals Prehospital and Disaster Medicine and the Journal of High Threat and Austere Medicine. She is an active peer reviewer and is widely published in the literature. Recognised around the world for her research on the long-term impact on the 9/11 first responders, Erin is passionate about exploring the mental health challenges associated with disaster and prehospital response.

Professional Associations

  • World Association of Disaster and Emergency Medicine Australian and New Zealand
  • College of Paramedicine Paramedics Australasia
  • Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association
  • Higher Education Research and Development Society of Australasia

Research Areas and Interests

The long-term impact of 9/11 on first responders; Professional role and responsibility of paramedics during disaster; Evidence-based disaster health; Secondary trauma among qualitative disaster researchers.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, Monash University, 2009.


Recent Research Grants

  • Community expectations and utilisation of emergency health services during the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic,  Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation,  Covid-19 Research Fund,  2020 - 2022,  $100,000.

Recent Publications (within the last five years)

Journal Articles

  • Douglas, N., Carew, J., Johnson, D., Green, M., Wilson, N., Donovan, J., Mulherin, T., Holbery-Morgan, L., Bourke, E., Smith, E., (2020), Safety and Efficacy of an On-Site Intensive Treatment Protocol for Mild and Moderate Sympathomimetic Toxicity at Australian Music Festivals. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 35(1), 41-45, DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X19005089.
  • Mackinnon, K., Everett, T., Holmes, L., Smith, E., Mills, B., (2020), Risk of psychological distress, pervasiveness of stigma and utilisation of support services: Exploring paramedic perceptions. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine, 17(n/a), n/a, Australia, DOI: 10.33151/ajp.17.764.
  • Anderson, C., Pooley, JA., Mills, B., Anderson, E., Smith, E., (2020), Do paramedics have a professional obligation to work during a pandemic? A qualitative exploration of community member expectations. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, epub ahead of print(June), 1-24, DOI: 10.1017/dmp.2020.212.
  • Smith, E., Burkle, F., Gebbie, K., Ford, D., Bensimon, C., (2019), A Qualitative Study of Paramedic Duty to Treat During Disaster Response. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 13(2), 191-196, DOI: 10.1017/dmp.2018.15.
  • Smith, E., Holmes, L., Burkle, FM., (2019), Exploring the Physical and Mental Health Challenges Associated with Emergency Service Call-Taking and Dispatching: A Review of the Literature. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 34(6), 619-624, DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X19004990.
  • Smith, E., Burkle Jr, F., (2019), Paramedic and emergency medical technician reflections on the ongoing impact of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 34(1), 56-61, DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X18001255.
  • Smith, E., Walker, T., Burkle Jr, FM., (2019), Lessons in post-disaster self-care from 9/11 Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 34(3), 335-339, DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X19004382.
  • Mills, B., Hill, M., Buck, J., Walter, E., Howard, K., Raisinger, A., Smith, E., (2019), What constitutes an emergency ambulance call?. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine, 16(2019), 9p., Australia, DOI:
  • Ryan, B., Franklin, R., Burkle Jr, FM., Smith, E., Aitken, P., Leggatt, P., (2019), Determining Key Influences on Patient Ability to Successfully Manage Noncommunicable Disease After Natural Disaster. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 34(3), 241-250, DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X1900431X.
  • Smith, E., Holmes, L., Burkle, FM., (2019), The Physical and Mental Health Challenges Experienced by 9/11 First Responders and Recovery Workers: A Review of the Literature. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 34(6), 625-631, DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X19004989.
  • Smith, E., Burkle Jr, F., (2018), Working towards wellness: Lessons from 9/11 paramedics and emergency medical technicians for Australian ambulance services. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine, 15(4), 7 p., DOI: 10.33151/ajp.15.4.592.
  • Smith, E., Burkle Jr, F., Gebbie, K., Ford, D., Bensimon, C., (2018), Acceptable limitations on paramedic duty to treat during disaster: A qualitative exploration. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 33(5), 466-470, DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X18000857.
  • Ryan, B., Franklin, R., Burkle, F., Smith, E., Aitken, P., Watt, K., Leggatt, P., (2018), Ranking and prioritizing strategies for reducing mortality and morbidity from noncommunicable diseases post disaster: An Australian perspective. International Journal of Disaster Risk Reduction, 27(March 2018), 223-238, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Elsevier BV, DOI: 10.1016/j.ijdrr.2017.10.009.
  • Smith, E., Burkle Jr, F., Aitken, P., Leggatt, P., (2018), Seven Decades of Disasters: A Systematic Review of the Literature. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 33(4), 418-423, DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X18000638.
  • Smith, E., Burkle Jr, F., (2018), The forgotten responders: The Ongoing Impact of 9/11 on the Ground Zero Recovery Workers. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 33(4), 436-440, DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X1800064X.
  • Ryan, B., Franklin, R., Burkle, F., Smith, E., Aitken, P., Watt, K., Leggat, P., (2017), Reducing Non-communicable Disease Exacerbation after a Disaster. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 32(1), 194-195, New York, USA, Cambridge University Press, DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X17005106.
  • Ryan, BJ., Franklin, RC., Burkle, FM., Smith, E., Aitken, P., Watt, K., Leggat, PA., (2017), The role of environmental health in understanding and mitigating postdisaster noncommunicable diseases: The critical need for improved interdisciplinary solutions. Journal of Environmental Health, 80(5), 38-48, Denver, USA, Naitonal Environmental Health Association.
  • Ryan, BJ., Franklin, RC., Burkle, FM., Watt, K., Aitken, P., Smith, E., Leggat, P., (2016), Defining, describing, and categorizing public health infrastructure priorities for tropical cyclone, flood, storm, tornado, and tsunami-related disasters. Disaster Medicine and Public Health Preparedness, 10(4), 598-610, Cambridge University Press, DOI: 10.1017/dmp.2016.3.
  • Ryan , B., Franklin, R., Burkle , F., Aitken, P., Smith, E., Watt, K., Leggatt, P., (2016), Reducing Disaster Exacerbated Non-Communicable Diseases Through Public Health Infrastructure Resilience: Perspectives of Australian Disaster Service Providers. PLoS Currents, 8(Disasters), 27p., DOI: 10.1371/currents.dis.d142f36b6f5eeca806d95266b20fed1f.
  • Ryan, BJ., Franklin, RC., Burkle, FM., Watt, K., Aitken, P., Smith, E., Leggat, P., (2015), Analyzing the impact of severe tropical cyclone Yasi on public health infrastructure and the management of noncommunicable diseases. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 30(1), 28-37, United States, Cambridge University Press, DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X1400137X.
  • Ryan, B., Franklin, RC., Burkle, FM., Aitken, P., Smith, E., Watt, K., Leggat, P., (2015), Identifying and describing the impact of cyclone, storm and flood related disasters on treatment management, care and exacerbations of non-communicable diseases and the implications for public health. PLoS Currents, 7(Disasters), September 28, 2015, United States, Public Library of Science, DOI: 10.1371/currents.dis.62e9286d152de04799644dcca47d9288.
  • Whelan, J., Love, P., Romanus, A., Pettman, T., Bolton, K., Smith, E., Gill, T., Coveney, J., Waters, E., Allender, S., (2015), A map of community-based obesity prevention initiatives in Australia following obesity funding 2009-2013. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 39(2), 168-171, Victoria, Australia, Wiley-Blackwell Publishing, DOI: 10.1111/1753-6405.12296.

Research Student Supervision

Associate Supervisor

  • Doctor of Philosophy: Addressing the impact of disasters on public health infrastructure and noncommunicable diseases
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