How Important is the Time Factor? Saving Lives Using Fire and Rescue Services
2016 (English)In: Fire technology, ISSN 0015-2684, E-ISSN 1572-8099Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
The shorter the response time of emergency services the more lives aresaved. But, how important in fact is the time factor for saving lives? The objective ofthis study is to analyse the relation between response time and fatalities, to be able tomeasure how many lives could be saved with a shorter response time. The study usesdata from reports from the fire and rescue services in Sweden for 2005–2013 for residentialfires. The time variable used is continuous and the statistical methods are non-linearregression techniques. It is found that the risk of fatality is a non-linear function ofresponse time. For a given change of response time, the increase in risk of fatality islarge for a short response time, then decreases, and eventually seems to approach zero.If it was possible to decrease the median response time by 1 min 0.00035 lives could besaved for every turn-out on average. For all turn-outs to residential homes that meansthat about two lives, or 3%, could be saved per year. The response time is most importantfor blocks of flats, nursing homes and semi-detached/terraced houses. The responsetime is more important for fires due to smoking, children playing or started intentionally(arson). The results can be used to evaluate the performance of local fire and rescueservices. The method is easy to use for other emergency services, such as ambulances.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Fire department, Emergencies, Response time, Fatalities
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-42015DOI: 10.1007/s10694-016-0592-4OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-42015DiVA: diva2:927759
FunderSwedish Civil Contingencies Agency