Optimizing the Location of Helicopter Emergency Medical Service Operating Sites
The European Commission Regulation (EU) No 965/2012, now completely operative in all the European countries, allows helicopter night landings for emergency medical service in dedicated spaces, provided with a minimum amount of facilities, called HEMS Operating Sites. This possibility opens new scenarios for the mixed, ambulance/helicopter, rescue procedure, today not fully exploited. The paper studies the problem of optimal positioning for HEMS sites, where the transfer of the patient from ambulance to helicopter takes place, through the use of Geographic Information System (GIS) and optimization algorithms integrated in the software ArcGIS for Desktop. The optimum is defined in terms of the minimum intervention time. The solution approach has been applied to the area of competence of “SOREU dei Laghi”, in Lombardia region, with a catchment area of almost two million people.
KeywordsHelicopter Emergency Medical Service Maximal covering location Minimum facility location Orographic constraints ArcGIS
The authors want to thank Eng. Giovanna Marchionni of Politecnico di Milano for her help in using ArcGIS.
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