A sophisticated resource planning and performance reporting tool designed specifically for fire and rescue services


It operates on data about when and where incidents occur, relating this to a fire service’s resources and the constraints under which it operates. It allows fire services to explore the likely effects of making changes to resourcing strategies and, by using realistic simulation modelling techniques, removes the guess-work involved in answering ‘What if…?’ questions.

Hotspot mapping of incidents with station locations superimposed

Cadcorp Workload Modeller can be used to test the outcomes of various resourcing scenarios, including:

  • closing, relocating and merging stations
  • changing the number, type, and location of vehicles
  • designing new shift patterns
  • balancing the mix between whole-time and retained resources

The application has been designed to be easy to use and easy to understand. The graphical and geographical capabilities that come from the close integration with Cadcorp SIS make the interpretation of modelling outcomes particularly easy.

Analysis

Attendance modelling - predicted successes and failures

Workload Modeller provides powerful capabilities which can be used to analyse both a fire service’s historic performance against existing resources and its predicted performance against reconfigured resources or demand. The following analyses are fundamental to the application:

  • Attendance times for 1st and 2nd appliances to arrive at the scene – in order to identify performance against target
  • The allocation of call-outs per station – identifying how many incidents were allocated to each station and the number of appliances required
  • Unit utilisation by time, date and station – to better understand how each type of unit is employed during each hour of the day

Customisable filters help the user select the objects to be included in the analysis (eg. incident types, station grounds, responding vehicles) and the spatial extent of data to be used. The same filters can also be used to create overlays for visualisation and export to other systems. When used against historic data, the set of analytical tools provide a baseline against which to compare proposed changes. When used against data from simulated outcomes, they provide guidance for aligning resources to demand.

Resource editing

Workload Modeller provides an integrated resource editor. It is the means by which a fire service loads raw incident data into a relational database. The important relationships between data entities are generated automatically. The resultant data model and database are available not only to Workload Modeller, but also to any other information systems that the fire service may wish to use.

The resource editor is also the means by which a fire service defines operational parameters relating to entities such as incident categories, response times and life risks. Finally, and most importantly, the resource editor is the mechanism for configuring resources such as vehicles, stations, and staffing. These can be both observed and hypothetical resource configurations. In this final role, the resource editor is the key mechanism for defining scenarios to be modelled.

Simulation

Predicted station response to incidents

Scenario outcomes are generated in Workload Modeller using a simulation engine that accurately mimics the incidence response process. For every incident, it uses travel times based on a road network to identify the vehicles and crews best-placed to respond to that incident. It then makes those resources unavailable for the duration of the call, and works through the simulated allocation of resources for all incidents for a given time period, making resources available and unavailable accordingly. Workload Modeller encourages transparency in all phases of simulation modelling: the input of parameters, the operation of the model, and the analysis of results. Scenarios being modelled successfully in Workload Modeller include the following:

  • Changes in demand
  • Disaster response
  • The removal, merger, and relocation of stations
  • Shift pattern changes
  • Changing the mix of retained and wholetime staffing
  • Changes in road networks and driving speeds
  • Introduction of new vehicle types
  • Moving existing vehicles to new locations

The practical benefits

Fire services throughout the UK are discovering the contribution that using Workload Modeller can make to resource planning, budgeting and performance monitoring. They are finding that they can use their assets more flexibly and more efficiently, without compromising the effectiveness of the services they provide.

For more information, complete the 'Online Enquiry' form below or email info@cadcorp.com.

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