Operations Research, 62(5):1014–1027, September-October, 2014. Paper doi abstract bibtex
Ambulance redeployment is the practice of repositioning ambulance fleets in real time in an attempt to reduce response times to future calls. When redeployment decisions are based on real-time information on the status and location of ambulances, the process is called system-status management. An important performance measure is the long-run fraction of calls with response times over some time threshold. We construct a lower bound on this performance measure that holds for nearly any ambulance redeployment policy through comparison methods for queues. The computation of the bound involves solving a number of integer programs and then simulating a multi-server queue. This work originated when one of the authors was asked to analyze a response to a request-for-proposals for ambulance services in a county in North America.