In the last installment, 5 Signs you Should Invest in New Dispatcher Desks, we shared the top reasons many PSAPs are prompted to seek funding for work station replacements. Making a case for replacement dispatcher desks and obtaining funding can be a long process. Start by identifying the need(s). Here are five MORE signs that your center may be ready for workstation replacements.
How do you know it's time for new dispatcher desks?
6. you NEED MORE EFFECTIVE, AND MORE COMFORTABLE side-by-side training
Some PSAPs are fortunate to have dedicated training spaces. More often than not, however, PSAP teams are training side-by-side at active dispatcher positions. And we've seen dispatchers and their trainers scrunched into some small spaces, which is neither efficient, nor comfortable.
Choosing a workstations that allows ample room for side-by-side training helps new dispatchers feel confident and at ease in the new environment.
Memphis PD, above, chose desks that make side-by-side training comfortable.
Additionally, the team selected locking personal storage stacks that house
personal belongings and contain a concealed charger for personal devices.
7. dispatchers will benefit from secure, personal storage
Active 911 shift work requires dispatchers to bounce back and forth between high-energy, high-stress calls and downtime. While they do not want to leave their station, they do want periodic access to personal belongings. This is best accomplished with secure personal storage at the desk. In addition to providing a secure space within reach, the doored cabinets help keep the area clutter free.
For centers that prefer a centralized location for personal gear, lockers are an ideal solution. Lockers can be placed in a dedicated space or incorporated at the end of a dispatcher desk run.
8. YOUR TECHNOLOGY AND EQUIPMENT needs CHANGed and your consoles did not
As centers grow, and technology and work needs change, some PSAPs find the furniture doesn't keep pace. Monitors stack on peripheral storage, printers jockey for space between dispatch positions, radio equipment, phones, speakers and fans encumber the work zone.
When selecting new dispatcher desks, specify console workstations with modular flexibility and plenty of designated stowage for equipment.
9. it's time to increase morale with an effective and attractive work environment
These centers used their dispatcher desk replacement opportunity to explore alternative console styles and space planning options. The right console workstations can improve the function and feel of your PSAP.
- Select lower panels with acrylic uppers to open sight lines
- Finishes help create warm and welcoming or lighter and brighter spaces
- Smart space planning opens foot-traffic flow and makes team-support easy
- Workstation signage and status indicator lights boost visual communication
- Use space creatively to offer a commissary or a health and wellness station
- Create a semi-permanent, shared treadmill station
Visit the project profiles page for examples and inspiration from PSAPs large and small.
10. the last consoles you bought are not holding up the way you expected
A well-built console workstation will remain intact for a minimum of ten years. A thoughtfully designed dispatcher desk will be durable, and functionally relevant, even longer.
When evaluating your next console options, ask questions in these three critical categories. A healthy conversation before you buy will eliminate surprise later. Here is a list of questions to get you started:
- Where do you manufacture your consoles?
- Do you have lasting relationships with vendors?
- Tell us about your Quality Assurance program.
- How do your materials rate against materials used by your competitors?
- What is your warranty?
- What are exceptions?
- How often do customers submit a claim against the warranty?
- What are the most common service issues?
- How do we contact you?
- How fast do you respond to service requests?
- Do you have maintenance recommendations?
Not ready to buy new workstations, but
ready for tips to improve your center dynamic?
Check out these posts:
- 5 Healthy Habits of High-Performance PSAPs
- 6 NEAT Activities to Reduce Dispatcher Stress
- The Power of Resilience: How to Thrive as a 911 Dispatcher
- View from the Top: How Leadership can Help Improve PSAP Culture