Enabling fast response to emergency calls with real-time ambulance location mapping.
The London Ambulance Service (LAS) used Ordnance Survey (OS) mapping data available through the Public Sector Mapping Agreement (PSMA) to develop Geotracker – a real-time web-based mapping solution that monitors ambulance crews’ locations to enable a fast response to emergency calls.
The logistical challenges
The London Ambulance Service deals with approximately 5,400 emergency calls a day and has more than 250 vehicles on duty at any one time.
The key challenges this presents are:
- Maintaining an overview of vehicle locations.
- Directing ambulance crews to predetermined standby points across London.
- Predicting incident hotspots and suggesting areas that should be covered.
Geotracker is a key performance monitoring tool, which has helped direct ambulance crews to pre-determined standby points across London. Its sophisticated built-in routing engine continually calculates where ambulances can get to within eight minutes. The accuracy of the routing engine predictions is enhanced by using historic ambulance road speed data and the Integrated Transport Network (ITN) Layer. Its comprehensive reports allow managers and operators to monitor ambulance coverage across London. The system also actively measures overall demand on the service and indicates when increased demand could affect LAS resources.
"Taking the ITN dataset for London at its basis, the Geotracker routing engine adds value by using historic road speeds on each link, and a sophisticated algorithm to determine current holes in ambulance coverage."John Downard, Assistant Director IM&T, LAS.
The data driven benefits
LAS ambulance crews now have access to a real-time map display of London’s ambulance and car coverage:
- Incident hotspots can be predicted and gaps in ambulance coverage detected.
- Users can easily drag and drop vehicles to test coverage and dispatch vehicles.
- Geotracker is accessible anywhere on the LAS network – quickly providing a fault tolerant web-based map system.
- Geotracker uses external and internal map sources for resilience and diversity and open standards for interoperability, for example Web Map Service sources.
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