Simulation Model of Fire Department Operations

Executive Summary

by Grace M. Carter, Jan M. Chaiken, Edward Ignall

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A nontechnical overview of the RAND simulation of fire department operations (RAND/R-1188/2), designed to help administrators and officials understand when the simulation should be used, how it works, what information it supplies, and what data and resources are needed to employ it. The program is large, complicated, and expensive to operate, requiring much detailed input data and the services of experienced analysts. Therefore, a description is given of the circumstances in which models simpler than the simulation would be more appropriate. The simulation program tracks each of many incidents from the time the fire is reported through the dispatching of fire fighters, their arrival and callback, work, release, return, recovery, and availability for another dispatch. Its purpose is for analysis of proposed new deployment policies. Results are reported in terms of response times, coverage, and the activities of fire-fighting units. Sources of further information are listed.

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