An Algorithm for the Dynamic Relocation of Fire Companies

by Peter Kolesar, Warren Walker

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When all the fire companies in a region are engaged in fighting fires, protection against a future fire is considerably reduced. It is standard practice of many urban fire departments to protect the exposed region by temporarily relocating outside fire companies in some of the vacant houses. This report describes a fast computer-based method for determining relocations which will become part of the Management Information and Control System being developed for the Fire Department of the City of New York. The relocation method consists of four interrelated problems, each of which is solved, due to the demands of computer economies, by the use of simple heuristics. A mathematical programming formulation of the problem is given, together with an example, the results of a simulation test of the method, and a description of the current use of the computer algorithm in an interactive time-shared environment.

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