CHARACTERISING THE TIME REQUIRED TO EVACUATE NON-AMBULANT PATIENTS
FROM ONE FIRE ZONE TO ANOTHER IN A HOSPITAL.
The subject of this research relates to the generation of data-sets
concerning the time required to evacuate non-ambulant patients from one
fire zone to another fire zone only using available hospital staff.
This research relates to evacuation analysis and the use of evacuation
modelling tools such as buildingEXODUS
In simulating the evacuation of non-ambulant patients it is essential
to characterise the time required to prepare
a patient, move the patient out
of a room , move
a patient to a place of relative safety, place
the patient in a safe location and return
to pickup the next patient. In this work patients were moved
from one fire zone to a neighbouring fire zone with their beds. Two
sets of analysis was undertaken. The first involved component testing
of the process. In this case several teams of two nurses were videoed
and timed preparing and moving a patient - with bed and medical equipment
- out of typical ward room. In addition, two full-scale evacuations
of an entire fire zone was undertaken. The evacuation involved moving
16 patients from one fire zone into a neighbouring fire zone. This
was performed with the nursing staff that would be available on a "typical"
night shift and repeated with the staff that would be available on a day
The evacuation trials involved the Blackheath Hospital on the
2nd January 2001. The Blackheath Hospital is 69-bed acute care hospital
that serves the private sector (link to two views of the front of
the hospital view1 and view2).
The evacuation made use of an empty ward and volunteer hospital staff who
acted as both the patients and the active staff.
This work is being undertaken a) to assist the Blackheath Hospital in
better preparing for a fire emergency, b) generating data that can be used
nationally and internationally by safety engineers in designing safer hospitals
and better procedures and c) obtain fundamental data on human performance
to assist in the development of a hospital evacuation computer model.
Video data from these trials is currently being analysed.
For more information about evacuation modelling and the EXODUS software
visit the EXODUS Web Pages.
For a complete listing of EXODUS and evacuation publications visit
the FSEG Publications pages.