. Earth Science News .

GIS siting of emergency vehicles improves response time
by April Sorrow - Research Writer, University of Georgia
Athens, GA (SPX) Mar 08, 2012

File image.

In an emergency, minutes matter. With this knowledge, University of Georgia researchers developed a new method for determining where emergency vehicle stations should be located. The results of their work could improve ambulance response time for the 200 million Americans who dial 911 each year, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

"If we can meet this critical time window [of 8 minutes], we can maximize benefits," said Ping Yin, a UGA graduate student studying geography who co-authored the paper.

The model uses geographical information science, or GIS, to determine the best base stations for Emergency Medical Service vehicles. GIS technology is used to manage and organize spatial data and to visualize solutions using maps. The model makes decisions about the best possible location to park an EMS vehicle, or the place to keep it, so that it serves the largest portion of the population in the shortest amount of time.

"Applied geographic considerations should be taken into account when health planning and spatial planning," said Lan Mu, UGA geography professor in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences and co-author of the paper.

Results of the study are available online and will be published in the March issue of Applied Geography.

The study used sample data from Georgia's EMS Region 10, which includes Jackson, Madison, Elbert, Oglethorpe, Greene, Morgan, Walton, Barrow, Clarke and Oconee counties. The data set included 58 ambulances and a selection of potential base locations.

Distributing the vehicles over 82 potential locations gave 87 percent of the population service in less than 8 minutes. When the locations were limited to 20, 78 percent of the population would receive help within 8 minutes, according to the study.

"If you have limited money, locations and number of vehicles but know your demand, the system can match the demands with the resources for the optimal amount of coverage," Yin said.

The GIS modeling allowed researchers to estimate travel time and take considerations like availability of vehicles and workload into account.

"When the population exceeds a limit, the quality of emergency service provided by that facility will be unacceptable," Yin said. "Given a requirement on the average response time to the calls, a facility with more vehicles may serve a greater population."

The model placed as many as 12 ambulances at one site to meet the demand from the surrounding population.

"Research like this is critically important as we work to serve dynamic populations across Georgia and across the nation," said Ryan Deal, director of communications at the Georgia Department of Public Health. "Already GIS technology is one of several important factors considered in many urban areas."

Deal said the study might provide some insight on how GIS technology can be employed in the future, especially in rural areas.

Future work in this area will focus on daily population movement, like when people shift locations to go to work, a factor that will influence the optimal location of EMS vehicles.

"We hope this model can be used to site vehicles. We used EMS as our model, but this application can be used for fire departments and police departments as well," Yin said.

Disaster response and the placement of shelters is another potential application for the study.

The journal article can be found here.

Related Links
University of Georgia
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
A world of storm and tempest
When the Earth Quakes

Get Our Free Newsletters Via Email
Buy Advertising Editorial Enquiries


. Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks
del.icio.usdel.icio.us DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Thai PM in Japan vows no more flood chaos
Tokyo (AFP) March 7, 2012
Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra on Wednesday pledged floods would never again disrupt business in the kingdom as she sought to reassure investors during a trip to Japan. The Thai premier said she had ordered the establishment of schemes to help companies get back on their feet from the disaster that knocked businesses sideways last year. "I have reaffirmed to the Japanese governm ... read more

Researchers harness Kraken to model explosions via transport

GIS siting of emergency vehicles improves response time

Thai PM in Japan vows no more flood chaos

Disasters cost $380 billion in 2011, says UN

Smart, self-healing hydrogels open far-reaching possibilities in medicine, engineering

'SimCity' game rebuilt for age of climate change

Apple unveils new iPad, Apple TV box

Dr. Strangelove and How I Learned to Love Space Debris

James Cameron to explore Earth's deepest ocean trench

Water shortage a global threat without urgent reform: OECD

World meets UN safe water goal

Current rates of ocean acidification are unparalleled in Earth's history

Moon to blame for sinking of Titanic?

Sand layer plays a key role in protecting the underlying permafrost in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

'Alien' seeds threaten Antarctica's landscape: study

Ice dam collapses at Argentine glacier

Shortcuts costly when buying conservation from farmers

Canadian farmers trust regulated dairy industry

A Vegetarian Cutlet

How to improve pesticide efficiency

Tsunami towns at crossroads, despite clean-up

Quake researchers warn of Tokyo's 'Big One'

Chaos as Sydney lashed by heaviest rainfall in five years

Hundreds more evacuated in Australia floods

Mali rebels strike amid post-Libya anarchy

Campaign to arrest Uganda rebel chief goes viral

Algerian Islamists set to score in polls

US pledges aid after 150 die in Congo blast

First Evidence of Hunting by Prehistoric Ohioans

Lockheed Martin and ZyGEM To Offer Rapid DNA Analysis Platform for Human Identity Testing

Scientists search for source of creativity

Bosnian fights to save 'bear children', Laka and Gvido

Memory Foam Mattress Review

Newsletters :: SpaceDaily Express :: SpaceWar Express :: TerraDaily Express :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News


The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2012 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement