Predicting 9-1-1 ‘Storms’

Predicting 9-1-1 ‘Storms’

New Technology Improving EMS Response

March 2, 2010  (Fort Worth, Texas)  A new “weather map” of sorts is helping MedStar EMS better predict where 9-1-1 calls will come from, improving ambulance response times and ultimately patient care.



“It is truly cutting edge, “ said Matt Zavadsky, MedStar’s associate director of operations. “Few EMS agencies in the world are using this system.  We truly believe this will help improve our response times and system performance.”


This new EMS “weather map” graphically provides real-time analysis of anticipated call volume. This allows MedStar dispatchers to position ambulances throughout the service area at locations where they can get to the most calls in the fastest amount of time.


The new system combines data from the previous 20 weeks with data from the next 20 weeks from the same date last year to calculate where 9-1-1 calls are most likely to occur.


The Deployment Monitor then creates “storms” of calls on a digital map, with areas of projected high volume shown in dark purple and areas of moderate demand in yellow. The system data updates every five minutes.

The new deployment system also tracks what percent of predicted call volume is covered by available ambulances. Each ambulance traveling within MedStar’s service area is illustrated showing the vicinity the unit can drive to within 7 ½ minutes.  As the unit moves, its coverage area moves with it. 


When a 9-1-1 call comes in, the Deployment Monitor analyzes the call location as well as the available ambulances with the best access to the call. Based on this information, the Deployment Monitor recommends the three closest ambulances with the best drive time listed first.  All of this information is shown on two large screens mounted in MedStar’s Communications Center. MedStar’s goal is to respond to 90 percent of Priority 1 calls in nine minutes or less.



About MedStar

MedStar is the exclusive emergency and non-emergency ambulance service provider to 15 Tarrant County cities including Blue Mound, Burleson, Edgecliff Village, Forest Hill, Fort Worth, Haltom City, Haslet, Lakeside, Lake Worth, River Oaks, Saginaw, Samson Park, Westover Hills, Westworth Village, and White Settlement. Established in 1986, MedStar provides advanced life support ambulance service to 421 square miles and more than 860,000 residents in Tarrant County. MedStar responds to about 100,000 emergency calls a year with a fleet of 47 ambulances.