Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-218
https://doi.org/10.5194/nhess-2022-218
 
06 Sep 2022
06 Sep 2022
Status: this preprint is currently under review for the journal NHESS.

Spatial accessibility of emergency medical services under inclement weather: A case study in Beijing, China

Yuting Zhang1, Kai Liu1,2, Xiaoyong Ni1,2, Ming Wang1,2, Jianchun Zheng3, Mengting Liu3, and Dapeng Yu4 Yuting Zhang et al.
  • 1School of National Safety and Emergency Management, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 2Academy of Disaster Reduction and Emergency Management, Ministry of Emergency Management & Ministry of Education, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China
  • 3Beijing Research Center of Urban System Engineering, Beijing 100035, China
  • 4Geography and Environment, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK

Abstract. The accessibility of emergency medical services (EMSs) is not only determined by the distribution of emergency medical facilities but is also very vulnerable to weather conditions. Inclement weather could affect the efficiency of the city's traffic network and further affect the response time of EMSs, which could therefore be an essential impact factor on the safety of human lives. This study proposes an EMS-accessibility quantification method based on selected indicators and explores the influence of inclement weather on EMS accessibility and identifies the hot spots that have difficulty accessing timely EMSs. A case study was implemented in Beijing, which is a typical megacity in China, based on the ground-truth traffic data of the whole city in 2019. The results show that inclement weather has a general negative impact on EMS accessibility. The 15-min EMS coverage rate of the area could have a maximum reduction of 13 % at the citywide scale and could reach over 40 % in some suburban townships. Although on the whole, the urban area would have more traffic speed reduction, towns with lower baseline EMS accessibility is more vulnerable to inclement weather, furthermore, the proportion of elderly population in these towns is also higher than the average level of the whole city. Under the worst scenario in 2019, 12.6 % of population (about 3.5 million) could not get EMS within 15 minutes, compared to 7.5 % with the normal condition. This study could provide a scientific reference for city planning departments to optimize traffic under inclement weather and the site selection of emergency medical facilities.

Yuting Zhang et al.

Status: open (until 18 Oct 2022)

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Yuting Zhang et al.

Yuting Zhang et al.

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Short summary
This article is aimed at developing a method to quantify the influence of inclement weather on the accessibility of the emergency medical services and identifying the vulnerable areas that could not get timely emergency medical services under inclement weather. And we found that inclement weather could reduce the accessibility of emergency medical services by up to 40 %. Besides, towns with lower baseline EMS accessibility is more vulnerable to inclement weather.
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