Minimizing the Time Access of Emergency Services as a Prerequisite for Sustainable Regional Development
Purpose: The aim of this article is to develop an optimal model for the operation of water safety services leading to a reduction in the number of drownings in Poland. Rest by the water is one of the most popular forms of spending free time. The safety of bathers in water areas has been treated for years as a strategic aspect of developing countries. Design/Methodology/Approach: On the basis of the literature, 3 regimes have been established for the time when rescue units reach drowning people and those in need of help in water areas: <8 minutes - low risk of death, 8-15 minutes medium, > 15 minutes - high. The data obtained comes from the event reports for 2019 conducted by the Water Rescue Coordination Center in Szczecin. The analyzed region includes water areas of the West Pomeranian region. The following research tools were used, critical data analysis, Generate Service Areas (GSA), The Hot Spot Analysis and Heat map symbology. Findings: There were 351 incidents in total. In the < 8min group there were 219 accidents if assistance was provided by land and 161 in the case of providing assistance by water, group 8-15 min: 158 (land), 210 (water), > 15 minutes 275 (land), 377 (water) and 88 incidents where, due to its location, assistance was provided after 30 minutes. Thanks to the application of Hot Spot Analysis, the most vulnerable places were identified. Practical Implications: In Poland, the high rate of people who drown should mobilize the governing bodies and emergency services to adjust the functionality of the safety system to socio-economic needs in order to improve its effectiveness. In the era of developing technologies, changes in the information and communication needs of people using water areas are observed. Originality/Value: The current spatial distribution of rescue unit services does not take into account their areas of operation, areas and times of intervention, and operational capabilities. Too many accidents in water areas occur over a time span of more than 8 minutes. This indicates the occurrence of a large number of life-threatening incidents.