The Department of Emergency Medicine offers a fully accredited, one-year fellowship in Emergency Medical Services (EMS) with two positions available each year. The program provides fellows with opportunities in operations, administration, medical oversight, education, teaching, and clinical care in the pre-hospital environment. The EMS system in Kalamazoo County is made up of four ambulance services and 16 fire and public safety agencies.

Our curriculum includes:
  • Three hours of fellowship didactics per week, utilizing the NAEMSP textbook as our core reference
  • Monthly M&M and EMS case review
  • Monthly teaching with field responders, medical students, and residents
  • Monthly administrative and training meetings - KCMCA PSRO and EMS council, 5th District Medical Response Coalition, Kalamazoo County Hazmat Team, Kalamazoo County Fire Chiefs Association, Kalamazoo County Child Death Review committee
  • Quarterly Regional Medical Control Authority and Trauma Network meetings
  • State of Michigan EMS meetings
  • Forty-eight hours per week on-call for pre-hospital scene response and EMS consults with dedicated physician response vehicle
  • Kalamazoo and Allegan County SWAT Team involvement
  • Conferences, including National Healthcare Preparedness Conference, the National Association of EMS Physicians Annual Meeting, and the Great Lakes Homeland Security Conference
  • Research and QI projects, utilizing the state EMS run report database
  • Disaster Preparedness
    Together, our fellows actively engage in regional and state disaster preparedness activities and get the chance to plan, implement and evaluate exercises with various federal, state, and local agencies, as well as hospital systems, private companies, and volunteer agencies. KCMCA is the coordinating agency for the 5th District Medical Response Coalition (5DMRC), one of the oldest such coalitions in the nation and cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as a national model. The 5DMRC meets monthly and includes representatives from the nine counties in Southwest Michigan. Coalition members represent hospitals, EMS, emergency management, public health, and other healthcare and human service organizations. WMed serves as the statewide coordinating agency for the National Disaster Life Support (NDLS) Program and our fellows complete NDLS training and serve as instructors in NDLS courses. Our fellows also the opportunity to at mass gatherings like the Kalamazoo Marathon, WMU football games, Michigan International Speedway NASCAR events, music festivals, MI-TESA, and regional full-scale exercises. Our fellows have responded to actual mass-casualty incidents, including a tour bus vs. semi-truck crash; large apartment fires, a 190+ vehicle pileup on I-94, and multiple carbon monoxide exposures at a local greenhouse.
  • Flight
    At WMed, we work closely with West Michigan AirCare, our sole regional air medical service. AirCare brings unique skills and capabilities to patients in need and the agency’s medical director is one of our previous fellows. At WMed, our fellows work with AirCare to gain direct experience in providing air medical care and are actively involved in AirCare’s quality improvement and educational programs. Although flight experience is optional, fellows with an interest in flight medicine have ample opportunity to become more involved with AirCare operations.
  • Research

    During your tenure as a fellow, you will participate in ongoing research studies conducted by faculty. Our goal is to help you develop outstanding research skills by providing opportunities and resources to cultivate these skills.

    WMed coordinates Michigan’s EMS Information System and houses the state EMS Data Manager. This means our fellows have access to more than 10 million EMS records to conduct research under an ongoing state Health Department IRB-approved project. Fellows enjoy excellent access to bio-statistical support services. Our department has successfully secured over $14 million in state and federal grants, and is one of the few institutions to receive multiple EMS for Children Targeted Issues grants.

    We encourage our fellows to attend and present at the annual meeting of the National Association of EMS Physicians. WMed provides financial support for travel expenses for presentations at state and national meetings.

  • Clinical

    Our fellows work approximately 40 hours a month as attending physicians at our two regional tertiary care centers – Ascension Borgess and Bronson Methodist Hospital. Both hospitals are ACS-verified trauma centers. Together, these facilities see over 160,000 ED patient visits annually.

    Our fellows have teaching opportunities with students and residents at both facilities. WMed sponsors one of the largest emergency medicine residencies in the country and boasts a 25,000 square-foot simulation center that opened in the summer of 2014 and is one of the largest in the Midwest. EMS fellows have full access to the center to hone their own skills and to instruct students, residents, and EMS personnel.

  • WMed Advantage
    Our graduates are well prepared to sit for the EMS subspecialty boards and have a strong understanding of EMS operations and systems. Our high-functioning EMS system offers unique opportunities for fellows in pre-hospital operations and logistics, agency administration, medical oversight/direction, education/teaching, and clinical care in the pre-hospital environment. Additionally, our fellows gain enhanced field experience through our dedicated, well-equipped field response vehicle and our flight program. Experiences in EMS operations, planning and implementation are rounded out by participation in activities at the local, regional, and state level.


Our diverse faculty have unique niche interests and skills, as well as experience and interest in air medicine, disaster preparedness, fire service, tactical EMS, wilderness medicine, pre-hospital education, and EMS system operations, just to name a few.

William Fales, MD

  • Professor of Emergency Medicine and Fellowship Program Director
  • Medical Director, Kalamazoo County Medical Control Authority
  • Regional Medical Director, 5th District Medical Response Coalition
  • State of Michigan Medical Director, Bureau of EMS, Trauma and Preparedness
  • Board Certified EMS

Joshua Mastenbrook, MD

  • Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine and Associate Fellowship Program Director
  • Medical Director, Allegan County Medical Control Authority
  • Firefighter/Emergency Medical Responder, Richland Township Fire Department
  • Board Certified EMS

Glenn Ekblad, DO

  • Associate Professor of Emergency Medicine
  • Core emergency medicine and EMS faculty member
  • Board Certified EMS

John Hoyle, MD

  • Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics
  • Assistant Medical Director for Pediatrics, Kalamazoo County Medical Control Authority
  • Core emergency medicine and EMS faculty member

Craig Dieringer, MA, EMT-P, I/C

  • Director, WMed Center for EMS, Disaster, and Operational Medicine
  • Administrator, Kalamazoo County Medical Control Authority

Michael Bentley, AAS, EMT-P, I/C

  • EMS Clinical Coordinator

Judy Wheeler, BAS, EMT-P, I/C

  • Disaster Medicine & Special Projects Coordinator

Chris Benson, EMT-P, I/C

  • Assistant Regional Coordinator, 5th District Medical Response Coalition
  • EMS Fellowship Program Coordinator