The Weber Area Dispatch 911 Team hosted an open house in October 2017 where they celebrated the expansion of their center. Today, nearly six months into occupancy, Kevin Rose, Operations Manager and Kyle Phipps, IT Manager, share details about their quest to improve tech integration and operator comfort.
Making the most of growth
Like many dispatch centers in growing communities, the Weber Area Dispatch 911 team needed to expand. To support immediate call-volume they planned to add five callers to their existing 17 position team.
As part of the expansion project, Weber received approval to replace their 16 year-old console workstations. Both the Operations and IT Managers recognized the opportunity to make the Weber work environment more effective by selecting high quality workstations.
This is their [the dispatchers'] second home. They are at their consoles for 12 hour shifts. Being able to make the environment work for them is important. They need to be able to make it comfortable and useful on a personal level.
– Kevin Rose, Operations Manager
The right tools for the job
When choosing dispatch furniture, Kevin and Kyle sought to solve for specific pain points that had previously impacted workflow and dispatcher engagement.
- Increased comfort and health amenities for dispatchers working long shifts.
- The addition of three-way focal depth adjustment, identified as critical to ease recurring eye-strain.
- Comprehensive cable management to mitigate cable damage and cable replacement costs.
The Weber team went into the purchase process with an open mind and no manufacturing allegiance. They demoed several models from multiple manufacturers. They evaluated cable management, equipment capacity, adjustability and comfort controls, durability, and use of space.
In the end, the Weber Area Dispatch 911 team chose Watson Consoles’ Mercury workstations for their 22 position center.
COnsole workstations benefit Operations and Daily Users
Initially skeptical of Mercury’s styling, Kevin toured Seattle PD where he saw a high-energy dispatch team at home in the linear models. Many dispatchers are used to the pod style of working and are surprised how quickly they can adapt, and thrive, at a linear workstation.
A benefit of Mercury are the integrated, one-touch environment controls. The heat and airflow, in particular, are placed to optimally benefit the user. Previously, the Weber team solved for cold days by spreading heaters out throughout the room. Now, each dispatcher can control the heat, cool airflow, task and ambient lighting at their station. The ability to fine-tune the temperature and lighting means each dispatcher can better maintain focus over the course of their shift.
It’s [Mercury’s linear design] quieter than the pod design and the dispatchers like it. The 96” surface gives them room to train side-by-side without crowding. The Mercury consoles are space-efficient - we were able to increase the number of workstations to 22 and we still have room to add more.
With the help of the Watson Consoles team, Weber was able to turn an unusually-shaped corner into a productive work area.
TECHNOLOGY INTEGRATION made easy
Weber scrutinized the cable management capabilities of each console workstation vendor. According to the team, "Mercury cable management was the best, very clean and nice looking."
Mercury delivers the modular technology cabinet and top-notch cable management that IT wanted. In addition, Mercury's dashboard connections make replacing high-use equipment easy. Phipps shared, "There is no more stretching, bending, or snagging of cables. It has made a huge difference." The combination of equipment protection features and easy access has delivered worktime and parts cost-savings.
Prepared for the future
Mercury is built to last with steel framed construction and commercial-grade cabinetry. Durable laminate and powdercoat finishes withstand the daily rigors of 911 call center activity.
In addition, the smart reallocation of space and space-saving design of the Mercury consoles means there's room for Weber to grow. This floor plan shows open space for seven additional positions:
Mercury won because it offered everything we needed in IT and for the dispatchers. The dispatchers love the consoles; there hasn't been one complaint.
About Weber Area Dispatch 911 and Emergency Services District
The Weber Area Dispatch 911 and Emergency Services District is the Public Safety Answering Point for all 911 emergency and non-emergency public safety needs in Weber and Morgan Counties. Emergency communications personnel answer requests for police, fire and medical emergencies and dispatch the appropriate personnel and apparatus. Weber Area 911 operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.