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Emergency facilities location and transportation routing

Emergency facilities location

This PhD project aims to develop traffic management strategies and infrastructure allocation algorithms needed to improve emergency vehicle logistics under real-time and long-term planning scenarios.

Drawing together approaches from accessibility analysis and facility coverage optimisation, the first stage of the project applies these methods to the metropolitan-wide deployment of an emerging treatment for cardiac arrest.

The second stage will shift focus from long term infrastructure planning to improvement of real-time ambulance operations accounting for integrated vehicle-to-infrastructure communication.

Both stages utilise inherently spatial approaches which are needed to evaluate and manage the equity across places and people, which addresses the social sustainability of emergency vehicle logistics and health infrastructure locations.


University of Sydney

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Project background

Emergency logistics are needed in response to a variety of situations including natural disasters, public health incidents, wars, car crashes, residential fires, and heart attacks.

Although the circumstances differ, emergency logistical operations share the purpose of maximising time efficiency and minimising losses. The performance of the emergency logistics system directly influences the security of lives and property in emergency situations.

Most people will never experience these situations, however the extreme consequences motivate the effort put into optimising emergency logistics. Due to some large-scale trends, such as ageing population, environmental degradation due to industrialisation, healthcare and related logistics have become a critical societal challenge.

Facility location and transportation routing are two of the main problems in emergency healthcare logistics. Routing problems depend on the site location of hospitals, patients, and other facilities, so facility situating plays a pivotal role in the whole logistics process.

For healthcare, medical resources are scarce, so the location selection is particularly important. Emergency medical services should be efficiently planned and allocated, since the medical facility locations are crucial to response time.

If the service cannot be delivered effectively and promptly to the people most in need, the patients would be jeopardised. Therefore, emergency logistics is a problem deserving research.

Project objectives

  1. Use integrated algorithms to realistically depict emergency vehicle location optimisation.
  2. Compare different impedance functions in accessibility analysis based on their effectiveness in emergency facility location optimisation.
  3. Based on the optimum facility locations, optimise the route selection for cardiac arrest ambulances using real-time traffic data.

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