Skip to content

Other ways to search: Events Calendar | UTHSC News

Emergency Medical Services

Erlanger Health System offers an accredited fellowship in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) sponsored by our Department of Emergency Medicine. More information is available here. The Emergency Medicine Residency program also offers an elective in EMS for residents with an interest in pre-hospital medicine.


LifeForce is one of the leading air medical services in the Chattanooga region. They operate six aircraft covering much of east Tennessee and north Georgia, as well as portions of western North Carolina and northern Alabama, an area encompassing over 25,000 square miles. The airframes currently in use are the EC-135 and the Bell 407. The entire service completes over 3,000 missions yearly, and they operate at the highest standards of critical care transport. Some of the program's highlights include IFR capable aircraft, blood and plasma carried on every flight, and portable ultrasound capabilities.

The EMS fellow takes a very active role with LifeForce as both an assistant medical director and a flight physician. After orientation training, he/she is considered a full crew member and flies not as a third rider but as one of the primary providers, usually with an experienced flight nurse as a partner. He/she will typically fly one 12-hour shift per week. Assistant medical director activities consist of active involvement in the quality assurance process including chart reviews and attending monthly quality meetings, protocol and procedure development, and providing training to flight crews. Those with a strong interest in air medical services will truly find the experiences they need to continue working with air medical services in the future. 

EMS Elective

Residents also have a great opportunity for exposure to air medical services. An established elective with LifeForce involves several shifts of "third rider" observation time as well as exposure to the quality assurance and provider training and education. Senior residents (late PGY-2 or PGY-3) with a particular interest can participate in an optional program to achieve flight physician status and take shifts on the helicopter in addition to their regular ED requirements.

Sep 16, 2022