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ANNIVERSARY ARTICLE: Improving Emergency Responsiveness with Management Science


  • Linda V. Green

    () (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027)

  • Peter J. Kolesar

    () (Graduate School of Business, Columbia University, New York, New York 10027)


While the goal of OR/MS is to aid decision makers, implementation of published models occurs less frequently than one might hope. However, one area that has been significantly impacted by management science is emergency response systems. Dozens of papers on emergency service management appeared in the OR/MS literature in the 1970s alone, many of which were published in Management Science. Three of these papers won major prizes. More importantly, many of these papers led to the implementation of substantially new policies and practices, particularly in policing and firefighting. Much of this work originated in New York City, though many other cities subsequently adopted the resulting models and strategies. In this paper, we look at the context, content, and nature of the research and the factors that led to these early implementation successes. We then track the extent to which these original models are still affecting decision making in emergency response systems. We also examine the pace of development of new OR/MS models and applications in the area. Finally, we look at issues in emergency responsiveness that have emerged recently as a result of the national focus on terrorism and discuss the potential for future OR/MS modeling and application.

Suggested Citation

  • Linda V. Green & Peter J. Kolesar, 2004. "ANNIVERSARY ARTICLE: Improving Emergency Responsiveness with Management Science," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 50(8), pages 1001-1014, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:inm:ormnsc:v:50:y:2004:i:8:p:1001-1014
    DOI: 10.1287/mnsc.1040.0253

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. E. Ignall & G. Carter & K. Rider, 1982. "An Algorithm for the Initial Dispatch of Fire Companies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(4), pages 366-378, April.
    2. C. Swoveland & D. Uyeno & I. Vertinsky & R. Vickson, 1973. "Ambulance Location: A Probabilistic Enumeration Approach," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 20(4-Part-II), pages 686-698, December.
    3. E. S. Savas, 1978. "On Equity in Providing Public Services," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(8), pages 800-808, April.
    4. Michael W. Lawless, 1987. "Institutionalization of a Management Science Innovation in Police Departments," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(2), pages 244-252, February.
    5. Linda Green & Peter Kolesar, 1984. "The Feasibility of One-Officer Patrol in New York City," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(8), pages 964-981, August.
    6. Antreas D. Athanassopoulos, 1998. "Decision Support for Target-Based Resource Allocation of Public Services in Multiunit and Multilevel Systems," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 44(2), pages 173-187, February.
    7. Linda Green, 1984. "A Multiple Dispatch Queueing Model of Police Patrol Operations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(6), pages 653-664, June.
    8. E. S. Savas, 1969. "Simulation and Cost-Effectiveness Analysis of New York's Emergency Ambulance Service," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 15(12), pages 608-627, August.
    9. Linda Green & Peter Kolesar, 1984. "A Comparison of the Multiple Dispatch and M/M/c Priority Queueing Models of Police Patrol," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 30(6), pages 665-670, June.
    10. Kenneth Lloyd Rider, 1976. "A Parametric Model for the Allocation of Fire Companies in New York City," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 23(2), pages 146-158, October.
    11. Jonathan Halpern, 1979. "Fire Loss Reduction: Fire Detectors vs. Fire Stations," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 25(11), pages 1082-1092, November.
    12. Grace Carter & Edward J. Ignall, 1975. "Virtual Measures: A Variance Reduction Technique for Simulation," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 21(6), pages 607-616, February.
    13. Kenneth R. Chelst, 1981. "Deployment of One- vs. Two-Officer Patrol Units: A Comparison of Travel Times," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 27(2), pages 213-230, February.
    14. Jan M. Chaiken & Peter Dormont, 1978. "A Patrol Car Allocation Model: Capabilities and Algorithms," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(12), pages 1291-1300, August.
    15. Jan M. Chaiken & Peter Dormont, 1978. "A Patrol Car Allocation Model: Background," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(12), pages 1280-1290, August.
    16. Rajan Batta & Narasimha R. Mannur, 1990. "Covering-Location Models for Emergency Situations That Require Multiple Response Units," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 36(1), pages 16-23, January.
    17. James A. Fitzsimmons, 1973. "A Methodology for Emergency Ambulance Deployment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(6), pages 627-636, February.
    18. Jan M. Chaiken, 1978. "Transfer of Emergency Service Deployment Models to Operating Agencies," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 24(7), pages 719-731, March.
    19. Linda Green & Peter Kolesar, 1989. "Testing the Validity of a Queueing Model of Police Patrol," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 35(2), pages 127-148, February.
    20. Peter Kolesar & Edward H. Blum, 1973. "Square Root Laws for Fire Engine Response Distances," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 19(12), pages 1368-1378, August.
    21. Arthur J. Swersey, 1982. "A Markovian Decision Model for Deciding How Many Fire Companies to Dispatch," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 28(4), pages 352-365, April.
    22. Jan Chaiken & Edward Ignall & Peter Kolesar & Warren Walker, 1980. "Response to Communication on Rand-HUD Fire Models," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 26(4), pages 422-432, April.
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