In the Netherlands, the target response time for ambulance services in case of life threatening emergencies is 15 minutes. Models are used to determine the number and locations of ambulances needed to meet this target. These models are part of the National Ambulance Plan, a framework for planning ambulance care. RIVM research has shown that the models do not fully suit the daily practice of ambulance service care and that they need to be adapted to improve the capacity calculations.
The driving time model for ambulances has been updated using recent measurements of actual speeds of ambulances. A number of factors that facilitate dynamic ambulance management have been identified, including a high-density road network and a certain overlap of base station coverage areas. It is recommended to level out the differences in overlap between the 25 ambulance organizations in the Netherlands.
In addition, it was investigated whether the models could also be improved thus to better reflect the actual practice of planned, non- emergency ambulance services, such as inter-hospital transportations. The computation models of the framework have been adapted to accommodate different numbers of ambulances for different regions. The implementation of the new computation models requires more knowledge of and insight into issues in the ambulance care delivered and the quality of care.