A review of mathematical methods that have been developed to assist fire departments in analyzing and improving the deployment of their fire-fighting resources. The key issues are (1) determining the number of fire companies to have on duty citywide and in each region of the city, (2) determining the specific location for each fire company, (3) developing a policy for redeploying fire companies when large numbers of companies are busy at fires, and (4) developing a policy for dispatching fire companies to alarms. The authors describe what mathematical models are available to analyze existing deployment policies and to develop improved policies, the principles on which the models operate, what they can be used for, when and how to use them, and the data needed for each one.
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