Year of Publication


Paper Type

Master's Thesis


College of Computing, Engineering & Construction

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer and Information Sciences (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Charles N. Winton

Second Advisor

Dr. F. Layne Wallace

Third Advisor

Dr. Susan R. Wallace


Prehospital emergency care systems are complex and do not necessarily respond predictably to changes in management. A combined discrete-continuous simulation model focusing on trauma care was designed and implemented in SIMSCRIPT II.5 to allow prediction of the systems response to policy changes in terms of its effect on the system and on patient survival.

The utility of the completed model was demonstrated by the results of experiments on triage and helicopter dispatching policies. Experiments on current and two alternate triage policies showed that helicopter utilization is significantly increased by more liberal triage to Level 1 trauma centers, which was expected, but that the waiting time for pending accidents tended to decrease, an unexpected consequence. Experiments on helicopter dispatch policy showed that liberalization of the dispatch policy would have much greater consequences than would changing the triage criteria. Again, this result was unexpected and has received little attention from system planners and administrators, especially with respect to the degree of discussion and controversy surrounding triage criteria.