Manpower Deployment in Emergency Services


In order to adequately respond to emergencies, it is necessary to maintain a sufficient level of personnel as well as geographic coverage. Planning for geographic and manpower coverage can involve a wide variety of factors, including union restrictions, frequency and spatial distribution of calls, and road network accessibility. The focus of this paper is on manpower deployment across such agencies as police, fire, and EMS. Since the cost of manpower is the single largest cost factor in providing such services, it is also one of the central elements in efficient service provision. This paper discusses some of the differences in manpower planning among the different emergency services. It also presents details associated with several special models that have been developed in police and EMS planning in order to efficiently deploy manpower throughout each week. We conclude with comments on future needs for research and development in deployment planning and operations.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.


  1. [1]

    K. Chelst, “A Public Safety Merger in Grosse Point Park, Michigan—A Short and Sweet Study,” INTERFACES, vol. 18, 1988, pp. l–l1.

    Google Scholar 

  2. [2]

    K.R. Chelst, “Quantitative Analysis of Police and Fire Mergers and a Study of a Medium Sized City,” Final Report to the National Institute of Justice, 81-IJ-CX-0076.

  3. [3]

    A.J. Swersey, L. Goldring, and E.D. Geyer “Improving Fire Department Productivity— Merging Fire and Emergency Medical Unitsin New-Haven,” INTERFACES, vol. 23, 1993, pp. 109–129.

    Google Scholar 

  4. [4]

    W.E. Walker, J.M. Chaiken, and E.J. Ignall, Fire Department Deployment Analysis: A Public Policy Analysis Case Study (The Rand Fire Project), New York, NY: North Holland, 1979.

    Google Scholar 

  5. [5]

    C. Toregas, R. Swain, C. ReVelle, and L. Bergman, “The Location of Emergency Services,” Operations Research, vol. 19, 1971, pp. 1363–1373.

    Google Scholar 

  6. [6]

    D.A. Schilling, C. ReVelle, J. Cohon, and J. Elzinga, “Some Modelsfor Fire Protection Location Services,” European Journal of Operational Research, vol. 5, 1980, pp. l–7.

    Google Scholar 

  7. [7]

    P. Kolesar, and E.H. Blum, “Square-root Laws for the Fire Engine Response Distances,” Management Science, vol. 19, 1973, pp. 1368–1378.

    Google Scholar 

  8. [8]

    D. Colner, and J.F. Gilsinn, “Fire Service Location-Allocation Models,” NBS Technical Note 774, U.S. Department of Commerce, National Bureau of Standards, Washington, DC, 1973.

    Google Scholar 

  9. [9]

    J. Stout, “System Status Management: The Strategy of Ambulance Placement,” The Journal of Emergency Medical Services, May 1983.

  10. [10]

    R.C. Larson, “A Hypercube Queuing Model for Facility Location and Redistricting in Urban Emergency Services,” Computers and Operations Research, vol. 1, 1974, pp. 67–95.

    Google Scholar 

  11. [11]

    M. Daskin, “A Maximum Expected Covering Location Model: Formulation, Properties, and Heuristic Solution,” Transportation Science, vol. 17, 1983, pp. 48–70.

    Google Scholar 

  12. [12]

    V. Marianov, and C.S. ReVelle, “The Queueing Maximal Availability Location Problem: A Model for Siting Emergency Vehicles,” European Journal of Operational Research, vol. 93, 1996, pp. 110–120.

    Google Scholar 

  13. [13]

    M.B. Mandell, “Covering Models for Two-tiered Emergency Medical Service Systems,” Location Science, vol. 6, 1998, pp. 355–368.

    Google Scholar 

  14. [14]

    F.C. Mendonca, and R. Morabito, “Analysing Emergency Medical Service Ambulance Deployment on a Brazilian Highway Using the Hypercube Model,” Journal of the Operational Research Society, vol. 52, 2001, pp. 261–270.

    Google Scholar 

  15. [15]

    C.C. Branas, E.J. MacKenzie, and C.S. ReVelle, “A Trauma Resource Allocation Model for Ambulances and Hospitals,” Health Services Research, vol. 35, 2000, pp. 489–507.

    Google Scholar 

  16. [16]

    D.J. Eaton, M.S. Daskin, D. Simmons, Bulloch, and G. Jansma, “Determining Emergency Medical Service Deployment in Austin, Texas,” INTERFACES, vol. 15, 1985, pp. 96–108.

    Google Scholar 

  17. [17]

    A.J. Mason, D.M. Ryan, and D.M. Panton, “Integrated Simulation, Heuristic, and Optimization Approachesto Staff Scheduling,” Operations Research, vol. 46, 1998, pp. 161–175.

    Google Scholar 

  18. [18]

    R.G.J. Mills, and D.M. Panton, “Scheduling of Casino Security Officers,” OMEGA International Journal of Management Science, vol. 20, no. 2, 1992, pp. 183–191.

    Google Scholar 

  19. [19]

    P.E. Taylor, and S.J. Huxley, “A Break from Tradition for the San Francisco Police: Patrol Of.cer Scheduling Using an Optimization-based Decision Support System,” INTERFACES, vol. 19, 1989, pp. 4–24.

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Church, R., Sorensen, P. & Corrigan, W. Manpower Deployment in Emergency Services. Fire Technology 37, 219–234 (2001).

Download citation

  • deployment
  • emergency services
  • optimization
  • integer programming