|dc.description.abstract||Emergency response time is very important to first responders. In an emergency, there are many factors that can affect the response time. This research focuses on three of the many factors that contribute to delays in reaching an incident within the four minute target travel time. Highway-railway grade crossings, fire equipment allocation and multiple incident occurrences in a fire district can have significant impact on emergency response time.
The operations of slow or stationary freight trains at highway-grade crossings, for instance, can lead to delays. This situation is common in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Even though grade separation can be the best alternative to solve this problem, it cannot be justified for most grade crossings. Using a grade crossing monitoring system (GCMS), real-time information can be communicated to local emergency dispatchers when a grade crossing is blocked. The benefit of installing a monitoring system was investigated to help improve emergency response time. In this research, Geographical Information System (GIS) based service area and network analysis was used to investigate the dynamic changes in the service area with or without grade crossing blockage and to estimate the benefit of installing GCMS to reduce first responders’ emergency response time. The research analyses show significant time saved in emergency response times. The Saskatoon examples show; the assumption that a road is blocked and having to take long detours when GCMS indicates that the crossing is not blocked and when GCMS also indicates that waiting at a blocked crossing would be more efficient than taking a detour route could help save valuable time in emergency response.
All fire related incidents require a standard fire engine. However, some fire outbreaks that involve high rise buildings, hazardous materials, and the like, require a special fire engine and/or special equipment in addition to the standard fire engine. Special equipment includes a “ladder-equipped” fire engine, and a “decontamination” fire engine. It is important for a city to have a well-structured and efficient strategy to allocate fire and emergency equipment. The allocation of resources must take into account changing patterns of fire and emergency incidents.
This research analyzed response times to fire incidents that require a specific fire engine with special features. The results suggest that Saskatoon Fire Department (SFD) may need additional resources such as ladders and tankers in order to respond efficiently. Saskatoon Fire Department’s target response time is six minutes. Travel time accounts for four of the six minutes. The research developed a spatio-temporal response zone and found that some fire incidents requiring specific resources lay outside the four minute zone. The analysis suggests that specific types of fire engines could be better allocated to fire districts with more fire incidents requiring those engines.
In Saskatoon, the fire department experiences frequent and multiple emergency calls in some of its fire districts which normally have an impact on the response time to individual incidents. The potential occurrence of multiple incidents in more than one fire district, makes it important for Saskatoon Fire Department to predict the periods during which a particular fire district may require an additional fire engine. When multiple calls occur, response times may increase due to the lack of a fire engine or secondary fire engine with the required equipment to handle more than one emergency call. The pre-emptive reallocation of a fire engine refers to the systematic reallocation of a secondary fire engine and its associated fire fighters in a way that temporarily transfers the services of the secondary fire engine from its original fire district to another fire district when a high number of service calls is expected in the other district. Pre-emptive reallocation of fire engines for pre-set short-term periods could be a promising way to respond to multiple concurrent incidents.
This research develops a novel, data-driven and scientific approach to assist decision making relating to the pre-emptive reallocation of one or more specific types of fire engines for fire departments where multiple fire or other emergency incidents may be expected to occur concurrently in the fire districts. Pre-emptive reallocation could be a very useful tactic particularly for some fire districts in Saskatoon, where the fire stations lack a secondary fire engine and have difficulty meeting the important six-minute rule. The approach to pre-emptive reallocation is designed to strengthen overall fire services in a region by using existing fire service resources more effectively and more efficiently.
Survival data analyses were used to develop a set of statistical models designed to determine the possible time window for fire engine pre-emptive reallocation from fire district (FS) #2 or FS #8 to FS #9 to handle multiple fire incidents in fire district #9. The results from the analyses show that there are high chances of risk for an Alarm reported incident occurring during peak hours, summer season and on weekends in fire district #9. Fire district #8 provides the possible alternate chances to pre-empt reallocation of one of its fire engine to district #9.
The result from this research demonstrates the benefit and importance of having GCMS and reallocation of fire engines with special features to improve emergency response time. This research would help enhance emergency response delivery during multiple incidents occurring in district#9, that requires pre-emptive reallocation of a fire engine. The outcome of this thesis will help save lives, property damage and improve security and safety.||