Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Epidemiologist, The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) and the Philadelphia Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services (PFD-EMS)

Posted Date: 
Tuesday, December 4, 2018 - 9:00am
Expiration Date: 
Friday, January 4, 2019 - 9:00am
Job Summary: 

The Philadelphia Department of Public Health (PDPH) and the Philadelphia Fire Department’s Emergency Medical Services (PFD-EMS) appreciate diversity among their staff and do not discriminate based on race, age, religion, physical ability, marital status, sexual orientation, sex, or gender identity.

Position Title: Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Epidemiologist

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Annual Salary Range: $52,000-$60,000, commensurate with qualifications and experience

Employment Status:  Full-time position with benefits. This is a grant-funded position; thus, continuation of the position depends on continued availability of funds.

Job Description:

This position involves high level epidemiological support to the Philadelphia Fire Department EMS in managing and reporting of data relating to the opioid crisis.  The person filling this position is responsible for data abstraction, management and analysis of EMS-related datasets, in particular those relating to 911 calls for suspected drug overdose, naloxone reversals, and transports to emergency departments. These data will be captured to assess trends in opioid overdoses being attended to by first responders and to effectively monitor progress relating to the Mayor’s Task Force to Combat the Opioid Epidemic.  This position will also be heavily involved in the tracking of data collected as part of a new SAMHSA-funded initiative to ensure that individuals who refuse transport to a hospital emergency department are provided with treatment resources, referrals, and take-home naloxone. The person filling this position will work very closely with staff within the Health Department’s Opioid Program, the Medical Examiner’s Office, the Department of Behavioral Health and Intellectual disAbility Services, the Police Department, and with academic, healthcare and community partners across the City.   

Essential Duties:

Under the supervision of the Philadelphia Fire Department, with technical consultation from the Health Department, the EMS Epidemiologist will perform the following essential job functions:

  • Develop, refine, and perform data cleaning/quality assurance routines for drug-related EMS datasets.
  • Abstract, analyze, and clean data on suspected drug overdoses, naloxone reversals, leave-behind naloxone, and transports to emergency departments.
  • Determine the reliability of naloxone administration data as a proxy measure for opioid overdoses.
  • Develop, refine, and oversee production of regular internal data reports.
  • Fulfill internal and external requests for drug-related EMS data.
  • Identify barriers to programmatic goals and assess and implement solutions.
  • Oversee collection and timely reporting of grant-related data.
  • Serve as a representative for grantee teleconferences/meetings.
  • Summarize analytic findings for presentation at scientific conferences and publication in technical and scientific journals.
  • Participate in Emergency Preparedness drills, exercises, and trainings for the Fire Department and the Health Department, as needed.
  • Perform management, cleaning, and analysis of EMS data, as might be requested within the Fire Department.


1a.  Completion of a master’s degree in Public Health at an accredited college or university, with a focus in Epidemiology or related field that includes a minimum of two graduate level courses in Epidemiology or two comparable graduate level classes in advanced research methodology AND two graduate level courses in statistics or biostatistics;


2a. Completion of a master’s Degree program at an accredited college or university; AND

2b.  At least two (2) years of work experience within the field of Epidemiology performing study design, evaluation or analysis.


·    Knowledge of substance abuse (in particular, drug-related) medical terminology.

·    Experience with medical data abstraction.

  • Knowledge of the principles and procedures of epidemiological research including study design or epidemiological surveys, theory and application of epidemiological methodologies, principles and methods of biostatistics, and preparation of scientific research reports.

·    Strong analytical abilities using statistical analysis software such as SAS or R.

·    Experience with database development (MS Access or similar software).

·    Training or experience with mapping software (ArcGIS preferred).

·    Ability to analyze data, write project proposals, and technical reports.

·    Excellent oral and written communication skills.

·    Ability to analyze and think critically to apply reasonable judgment and problem-solving skills.

·    Experience working and conducting research with health and prevention service agencies.

  • Excellent organizational skills.
  • Ability to work as part of a team, to prioritize and handle multiple tasks, and to work independently in a high-pressure environment.

·    Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships with persons contacted in the course of work;

·    Sensitivity to and experience working with ethnically, culturally and sexually diverse individuals, communities, agencies and organizations.

How to Apply: 

Individuals interested in this opportunity should contact Kendra Viner, PhD, MPH, at kendra.viner@phila.gov.  Please include a cover letter and current resume.