Friday, 16 July 2010

Locating emergency ambulances

The ambulance station in Exeter is on the east side of the city. The city is divided by the river Exe, and the bridges across the river form a bottleneck for traffic. Quite often there is gridlock on the roads approaching the bridges.

So the ambulances are deployed away from the station at times of peak traffic. Yesterday, Tina and I were walking by the river and we spotted such a redeployed ambulance parked by the footpath. It made me wonder ... about the policy for deploying ambulances. This one was placed so that it could cross the river, or leave the city to the north and west. In either direction, the response time would be about ten minutes less than if it started from the base station. My wondering focussed on what conditions prompt such deployment. Is it when the traffic is reported to be at a particular state? Or simply at particular times of day? Has anyone worked on this?

I was reminded of the policy of French traffic police that I saw on holiday; they were deployed to busy roads and junctions and set up tables to deal with on-the-spot fines.

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