Learn more: U City’s ambulance data

Analyzing data from U City’s dispatch system

In a previous post, I showed how we can draw important insights from the data provided by Gateway Ambulance. University City also collects our own information about response times. The U City data contains data about six different vehicles: two firetrucks, two Gateway ambulances, the Fire Chief, and the rescue ladder. In this article, I compare the response times for each vehicle.

Note: the U City data contains a relatively small and non-random sample of calls. Not every vehicle was engaged in every call. Click here to read the original call transcripts.

But first, here are links to other follow-up posts about Gateway:

Accurate comparison

For each vehicle, the U City data records:

  1. Start Time: a resident makes an emergency call
  2. Dispatch Time: the dispatcher calls for an emergency vehicle
  3. En Route Time: the vehicle starts driving to the scene
  4. On Scene Time: the vehicle arrives at the caller’s location

“Prep” refers to the time between a vehicle being called for (dispatch) and when it starts driving (en route).

“Transit” refers to the time between a vehicle driving (en route) and actually arriving at its destination (on scene).

“Total” refers to the total time between a vehicle being dispatched and arriving on the scene, but this measure is distorted because a vehicle may be put on standby or redirected partway through a call.

Conclusions

The data shows that Gateway has only slightly faster transit times, but significantly faster prep times.

This is what we would expect. Gateway does not drive faster, but can respond faster because:

  1. Its drivers can wait for calls behind the wheel of the ambulance, and start driving almost as soon as a call comes in (shorter prep time)
  2. Its ambulances can be strategically positioned closest to where people call from, instead of where we happen to have land for a fire station (shorter transit time)
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