Research press release


Nature Sustainability

Environment: Flooding impacts emergency response time in England

英国では、低レベルの洪水時には、消防隊や救急隊などの第一応答者が急を要する現場に直ちに到着するのに苦労する可能性が高いことを報告する論文が、今週、Nature Sustainability に掲載される。この知見は、不利な地理的条件や気象条件の下での英国の緊急対応時間の分析から明らかになった。


今回Dapeng Yuたちは、救急サービスが急を要する現場に到着する能力に、さまざまなレベルの洪水がどのような影響を及ぼすかを調べた。彼らは、英国の消防署の全ての所在地に対して、地形学的分析と交通マッピングを行った。



First responders, such as fire and ambulance services, will likely struggle to reach urgent cases in a timely manner during low-level flooding in England. These findings are reported in an analysis of emergency response time in England under adverse geographic and climate conditions, published this week in Nature Sustainability.

Ambulance and Fire and Rescue services are the primary responders for flooding events, during which demands for emergency services rise considerably. Flooding can impact their ability to respond within the 7- to 15-minute timeframes expected for responders by making roads impassable or increasing traffic congestion. Climate change is also expected to increase the magnitude and frequency of flood events which will make responding to emergencies more difficult.

Dapeng Yu and colleagues investigated how various levels of flooding impact the ability of emergency services to reach urgent cases. They conducted topographical analysis and traffic mapping for all locations of Ambulance and Fire and Rescue stations in England.

The authors found that 84% of the English population can be reached by ambulance within the 7-minute window for life-threatening incidents. However, under a 30-year river or coastal flood scenario, this drops to 70% and for a 100-year flood it is only 52%. The proportion of the elderly population that can be reached during a 30-year flood scenario is 65%, compared to 80% in normal conditions. The authors also highlight regional disparities in response times. Low-lying areas in the southeast and rural areas such as Cornwall see a reduction in response time under a 30-year flood. Greater London is also negatively impacted by surface flooding.

The authors conclude that although the impacts of the geographic spread of emergency services is well understood, the ‘cascading’ effects of flooding events must be used for more robust planning.

doi: 10.1038/s41893-020-0516-7


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