An Integrated optimization and simulation approach for the ambulance location problem

Şahin Macit, Medine
Management of smooth-functioning Emergency Medical Services (EMS) along with efficient and effective utilization of ambulances which are an essential part of this service is of vital importance. Selecting the suitable location of ambulance stations and the allocation of ambulances to their corresponding stations are important decisions which directly affect the quality of response to an emergency case. In this study, an integrated optimization and simulation approach is proposed so as to determine the size of the ambulance fleet, the location of stations and the allocation of the ambulances to these stations. This approach includes a covering model, namely Gradual Maximum Expected Covering Location Problem (G-MEXCLP), and a generic EMS system simulation model used in succession in the search for the best solution in an iterative manner. We use several test problems in the literature to validate the G-MEXCLP model. We then test the integrated approach using the data of the city of Adana, and demonstrate the advantages of the approach by comparing the results obtained to the current ambulance location plan for the City of Adana.