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Ambulance services

  • Supporting emergency services

    Improving response times and addressing operational needs

When an emergency call is made to an ambulance command and control centre, time is of the essence as life is at stake. Ambulance crews need to know exactly where they need to go and the quickest route there. They also need to know the quickest and least congested route to the nearest hospital with appropriate facilities.

How does Ordnance Survey help?

Using definitive digital map products from Ordnance Survey through membership of the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA), command and control teams can pinpoint a caller’s precise position while they are on the telephone, whether at a residential address or in the middle of open countryside. A detailed description can be relayed to attending crews, either via radio or displayed dynamically on in-vehicle screens. If an ambulance is fitted with GPS technology, command and control centres can track the emergency vehicle against its location in real time and keep the caller informed of its progress.

Bringing maps and data together

Ambulance services can associate their own data to Ordnance Survey datasets, providing them with an even richer information source. For example, while hospitals are featured on Ordnance Survey’s most detailed dataset, OS MasterMap, it is not possible to tell what type of hospitals they are. By integrating facility information with the OS MasterMap data, ambulance services can identify which establishments have, for example, A&E departments, maternity units and specialist coronary equipment.

OS MasterMap is designed to allow easy data sharing across and between organisations. Integrated civil contingency and disaster planning across all emergency services becomes possible when all parties have access to the same data or parallel datasets, as information can be exchanged and associated easily.

What are the benefits to the Ambulance Service?

  • Easier information sharing through a single, accessible source of location data
  • Human error minimised in finding locations by using a definitive geographic source
  • An integrated information tool through the ability to associate, overlay and display your own information against Ordnance Survey’s location data
  • Improved response times, potentially saving lives
  • Emergency vehicle tracking and in-cab navigation by combining Ordnance Survey data with GPS technology
  • Greater accuracy for allocating resources and strategic planning

Case Study example:

Are you an existing member?

If you are already a member of a public sector mapping agreement, please log in to the members area below:

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Not a member? - If you are a government organisation located in England, Scotland or Wales and have not yet taken advantage of joining a public sector mapping agreement then apply to join here.

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