Quantitative Evaluation of Fire and EMS Mobilization Times

Fire Protection Research Foundation report: "Quantitative Evaluation of Fire and EMS Mobilization Times" Part 1 (PDF, 8 MB)  Part 2 (PDF, 4 MB)  Part 3 (PDF, 8 MB)
Author: Robert Upson and Kathy Notarianni, PhD, PE, WPI Department of Fire Protection Engineering
Date of issue: May 2010


Comprehensive data on fire emergency and EMS call processing and turnout time is largely absent from the published literature. Operational benchmarks for alarm handling time and turnout time specified in the NFPA peer consensus standards 1221 and 1710, respectively, would be greatly enhanced with strong empirical validation. This study presents a clear statistical picture of actual recorded alarm handling times and turnout times for fire and EMS emergencies across a group of large fire departments. Additionally, the study identifies some significant factors that affect variation in alarm handling times and turnout times in those departments. These results provide an objective basis for further development of the relevant codes and standards as well as contributing critical information for fire chiefs and other government decision makers tasked with optimum deployment of emergency response facilities (ERFs) and emergency response units (ERUs).