This paper gives a brief review of some applications of mathematical programming in the analysis of the deployment of fire engines. We discuss a semi-Markov decision process (linear programming) formulation of the problem of deciding how many fire engines to dispatch to a new alarm, a staged integer programming formulation of the problem of relocating fire engines to rebalance city-wide protection when extremely large fires deplete part of the city, and simple nonlinear integar programming formulations of strategic resource allocation problems. All analyses have resulted in policy recommendations that have influenced current operations of the New York City Fire Department.
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