IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

The role of preparedness in ambulance dispatching


  • S Lee

    (School of Industrial Engineering, Purdue University, Indiana, USA)


Response time in the emergency medical service is an important performance measure and ambulance dispatching is one of the most important factors affecting the response time. The most commonly used dispatching rule is to send the closest available unit to the call site. However, though dispatching the closest unit enables the service to achieve the minimal response time for the current call, the response times for the next incoming calls may increase if the area where the closest ambulance is currently located has a high call rate, that is the area becomes ill-prepared. A dispatching algorithm based on the preparedness concept was recently proposed. Rather than greedily minimizing each current response time, the dispatching algorithm takes account of future calls by a quantitative definition of preparedness. This study investigates the role of preparedness by examining the performance of the preparedness-based dispatching algorithm as well as by evolving the algorithm in several ways in order to magnify the effectiveness of preparedness consideration. As a result of these efforts, it is found that the consideration of preparedness in ambulance dispatching can provide significant benefits in reducing response time but only when appropriately used.

Suggested Citation

  • S Lee, 2011. "The role of preparedness in ambulance dispatching," Journal of the Operational Research Society, Palgrave Macmillan;The OR Society, vol. 62(10), pages 1888-1897, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:pal:jorsoc:v:62:y:2011:i:10:p:1888-1897

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text PDF
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    File URL:
    File Function: Link to full text HTML
    Download Restriction: Access to full text is restricted to subscribers.

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. van Barneveld, T.C. & Bhulai, S. & van der Mei, R.D., 2016. "The effect of ambulance relocations on the performance of ambulance service providers," European Journal of Operational Research, Elsevier, vol. 252(1), pages 257-269.
    2. Seokcheon Lee, 2017. "A new preparedness policy for EMS logistics," Health Care Management Science, Springer, vol. 20(1), pages 105-114, March.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:pal:jorsoc:v:62:y:2011:i:10:p:1888-1897. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Sonal Shukla) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.