Computer modeling of emergency medical system performance

Terence D. Valenzuela, Jeffery Goldberg, Kevin T. Keeley, Elizabeth A. Criss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Emergency medical services (EMS) system managers face difficult problems when determining the need for system expansion and unit deployment. Information relevant to the decision is often limited and frequently not in a usable format. This lack of usable information often results in decisions that create less-than-optimal EMS systems. A constant search for greater efficiency prompted the development of a computer simulation model to analyze the current EMS system operated by the Tucson Fire Department and to provide statistical information on the effects of potential vehicle base locations on system performance. The simulation model generates data that reflect a variety of parameters necessary in base location analysis. Included in the performance statistics for each unit and for the entire system are indicators of unit use rates, minimum and maximum response times, and proportion of calls reached within the critical response time of eight minutes or less. The model has been carefully validated and used in unit redeployment and unit activation in Tucson, Arizona.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)898-901
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of emergency medicine
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • EMS system, computer modeling
  • computer modeling, EMS system

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Emergency Medicine


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