Cooper partners with Homeland Security to provide training to federal emergency first responders

Cooper University Health Care on Thursday announced a collaboration with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to provide advanced clinical training to members of DHS’ Emergency Medical Services system through a new clinical immersion training program.

Cooper operates the busiest trauma center in the Philadelphia-South Jersey region, and its trauma team’s military training program is one of the most extensive in the nation.

“We are proud to welcome the Department of Homeland Security’s EMS personnel to Cooper. Recognizing the vital services they provide at home and abroad, we look forward to providing hands-on clinical training for real-world EMS scenarios,” Col. John Chovanes, medical director and lead trauma surgeon for the Section of Military, Diplomatic & Field Surgical Affairs at Cooper, said.

Making up the second-largest federal agency EMS system, DHS providers include emergency medical technicians at the basic, intermediate and paramedic levels who provide emergency care and workforce protection around the world to DHS employees, those in their care and custody, and in the communities in which they serve.

The basic first responder training will include 40 hours of clinical rotations through Cooper’s Level 1 Trauma Center, with emphasis on trauma admitting, emergency department and EMS transportation through Cooper EMS program. Advanced provider training will consist of 80-120 hours of clinical site training in those areas.

“The Department of Homeland Security engages in over 20,000 emergent rescues per year and is committed to maintaining the highest standards of care in the field. By allowing our EMS providers to attend clinical immersion training at Cooper, our providers will be empowered to learn from industry leaders who are committed to excellence in health care delivery,” Cameron Hamilton, DHS’ director for Emergency Medical Services, Office of Health Security, said.

Cooper serves as the only Level I Trauma Center for all of southern New Jersey and is one of the busiest trauma centers in the region. Due to its high-volume trauma center and expertise in surgery, and critical care, Cooper is the only hospital in the U.S. that has trained elite medical providers from every military branch; multiple local, state, and federal government agencies; and international partners.

In 2019, Cooper became the third location in the nation to provide specialized medical training to active duty and reserve personnel from all branches of the U.S. military as part of the SMART, Strategic Medical Asset Readiness Training, initiative. SMART was developed by the Army Medical Command as part of an effort to establish a national network of civilian health care facilities to train and sustain medical skills of the enlisted medical workforce.

Earlier in 2019, Cooper became the first health system in the nation to enter into an agreement with the Army to provide advanced surgical trauma training to the elite Forward Resuscitation Surgical Detachment through the Army Medical Department Military-Civilian Trauma Team Training program. Cooper also collaborates with the Navy to provide clinical rotations to Navy senior anesthesia medical residents.