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Dr Erin Smith

Senior Lecturer, Paramedical Science

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


Erin is a Senior Lecturer within the School of Medical and Health 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


Dr Erin Smith has extensive experience teaching and researching within the multidisciplinary fields of prehospital and disaster health. Dr Smith’s PhD research conducted through the Faculty of Medicine at Monash University explored paramedic perception of risk and willingness to work during disasters. This research involved conducting interviews and focus groups with nearly 100 paramedics in Australia, New York and London. Dr Smith recently completed a fifteen-year follow up of paramedics and emergency medical technicians who responded to the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York. This research involved interviewing 58 paramedics and EMTs to explore the long-term physical and psychosocial health impacts of responding to 9/11. Other recent research projects explore the role and responsibility of paramedics during disaster response. Dr Smith is widely published in both the prehospital and disaster health literature and has presented her research at many national and international conferences where she has been an invited presenter and a best-presentation award winner.

Professional Associations

Dr Smith is currently a member of the Board of Directors of the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM), where she also holds the positions of Co-Convenor of the Psychosocial Special Interest Group and Deputy Chair of the Oceania Chapter. Dr Smith is currently the Deputy Chair of the Network of Australasian Paramedic Academics (NAPA) Special Interest Group of Paramedics Australasia (PA) and a member of the Victoria Chapter of PA. Dr Smith is also a member of the Research Committee of the Australian and New Zealand College of Paramedicine (ANZCP). Dr Smith was the founding Coordinator of the Cochrane Collaboration's Prehospital and Emergency Health Field and is a member of the Executive Board. Dr Smith is a member the World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM), Paramedics Australasia (PA), the Australian and New Zealand College of Ambulance Professionals (ANZCP) and the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Association.

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 Publications (within the last five years)

Journal Articles

  • Smith, E., Burkle Jr, 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, 2018(DOI: 10.1017/dmp.2018.15), 1-6, DOI: 10.1017/dmp.2018.15.
  • 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, United States, 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, , 1-9, 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, First View(First View), First View, United States, DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X1900431X.
  • 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., 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.
  • 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), Working towards wellness: Lessons from 9/11 paramedics and emergency medical technicians for Australian ambulance services. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine, 15(4), 7 p..
  • 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., Gebbie, K., Ford, D., Bensimon, C., (2018), Acceptable limitations on paramedic duty to treat during disaster: A qualitative exploration. Prehospital and Disaster Medicine, 35(1), 466-470, DOI: 10.1017/S1049023X18000857.
  • 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 , 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., (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, 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.
  • 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.
  • Whelan, J., Love, P., Pettman, T., Doyle, J., Booth, S., Smith, E., Waters, E., (2014), Cochrane Update: Predicting sustainability of intervention effects in public health evidence: Identifying key elements to provide guidance. Journal of Public Health, 36(2), 347-351, Oxford, United Kingdom, Oxford University Press, DOI: 10.1093/pubmed/fdu027.
  • Smith, E., (2014), Willingness to work during a terrorist attack: A case-study of first responders during the 9/11 World Trade Centre terrorist attacks. Australasian Journal of Paramedicine, 6(1), 11p., Melbourne, Victoria, Paramedics Australasia.

Research Student Supervision

Associate Supervisor

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