A distributed optical-fiber sensing system based on pulsed excitation and time-gated photon counting has been used to locate a fluorescent region along the fiber. The complex Alq3 and the infrared dye IR-125 were examined with 405 and 780nm excitation, respectively. A model to characterize the response of the distributed fluorescence sensor to a Gaussian input pulse was developed and tested. Analysis of the Alq3 fluorescent response confirmed the validity of the model and enabled the fluorescence lifetime to be determined. The intrinsic lifetime obtained (18.2±0.9ns) is in good agreement with published data. The decay rate was found to be proportional to concentration, which is indicative of collisional deactivation. The model allows the spatial resolution of a distributed sensing system to be improved for fluorophores with lifetimes that are longer than the resolution of the sensing system.