As populations grow, more PSAPs are challenged to expand teams in existing spaces. This requires comm centers to rethink space planning. Each dispatcher requires local storage and access to the multiple technology systems and equipment, making space contraction a challenge. Here's how Doug Wisser helped re-imagine the space needed to dispatch.
Designing for Technology Integration
For those who work as a public safety communications professional, you know first-hand why durable, sturdy 911 dispatch consoles are key to mission-critical environments. The furniture must be able to withstand the demands of 24/7 mission critical work and includes ample work space and storage and cable management for equipment and technology.
SOLVING PSAP PAIN POINTS
Easing technology integration and maintenance was one of the driving factors in the development of Mercury. Outboard access to technology makes regular maintenance checks and swaps easy. Additionally, the option of side-firing and cockpit-facing technology allows planning to the wall, not possible if technology cabinets and wiring access is located along the backside or aisle-side of a workstation. Feedback from dispatcher and facility mangers has reinforced the value of this design.
Doug and team were challenged to retain the IT integration and wire-up advantages of the core Mercury design while decreasing the amount of space one position occupies in a PSAP.
Easing the Impact on IT and the Facility
Meet Doug Wisser, Senior Design Engineer, and head of the Technology Bridge project.
On a day-to-day basis, Doug is working on engineering changes and improvements to Console products and creates assembly instructions and develops concepts for the next generation of console products. He enjoys having the ability to see designs go from a whiteboard sketch to a fully-integrated product that people interact with on a daily basis. Doug is a graduate of Georgia Institute of Technology with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
When not developing the latest product improvements, he is often playing or watching soccer - Liverpool FC is his favorite team. He also plays trombone in the Poulsbo Community Orchestra.
THE Technology bridge PROJECT
Q & A WITH WATSON CONSOLES’ SENIOR PRODUCT DESIGNER, Doug Wisser.
Q: What is your core design methodology?
A: Always keeping our customers core requirements at the forefront. Making sure our design stays true to Watson’s values of user-centricity, tech readiness, and future proofing. Designing products that last and look good.
Q: How does your core philosophy influence your design process?
A: One nice thing about the Tech bridge is that it shares a lot of the same parts as the standard Cable bridge. As a result, should a customer decide in the future that they want to put PCs into the cable bridge, they only need to replace one component.
We also chose glides with top-down leveling so that if the floor isn’t quite level, it’s incredibly easy to adjust.
The fans are mounted in such a way that the top surface is free of fasteners, giving the tech bridge a sleek, seamless design.
Q: Was there something specific that inspired the development of a Tech Bridge?
A: As the industry trends toward smaller PCs and peripheral equipment, the necessity to have large outboard storage to house all the equipment is becoming less prevalent. Given the existing space underneath the worksurface, it seemed like an obvious progression to move the PCs into the cable bridge. Also, PSAPs, especially larger teams, have call-takers and 311 operators that do not require the same amount of equipment and technology at the workstations. Creating planning efficiencies for these types of positions seemed a good place to start.
Q: What inspires you within the market, and what other things influence you?
A: Within the market, the most inspiring thing is probably the difficult work the call-takers and dispatchers do and the level of calm and poise with which they do it. It’s inspiring to be a small part of making that happen.
Outside, I draw inspiration from Frank Lloyd Wright architecture, classic automobiles, modern men’s fashion, and Scandinavian furniture.
Q: What's on the horizon?
A: I want to maintain focus on all components that impact operator comfort, ergonomics and features that make the dispatcher’s day a little smoother. We’ll also be evaluating PSAP needs for personal, team, and shared storage, and modernizing environment controls.
The Technology Bridge
This space-saving, under-surface solution is ideal for centers or workstations with light technology needs. Easy PC installation and side-firing PC placement simplify maintenance access. The vented Tech Bridge fits up to five small-format or four mid-size PCs. Fans circulate cool air and keep technology operating at optimal temperatures. Dual cable channels keep power and low voltage cables separate, reducing the risk of signal interference.
Why this Project Matters
Each of our products are designed to benefit the operators and technicians that interface with them. Our products are engineered to be a durable asset, provide functional value, and to deliver a design punch. Our company culture supports our design methodology in that people come to work at Watson Consoles because it’s a company where individuals affect positive change. Making products better for our customers AND more sustainable really happens. This is one of the benefits of manufacturing right here in Poulsbo, WA. We have visibility and hands-on control over design, materials, manufacturing, and fit-and-finish.
TO YOUR PSAP
Mission critical and life-saving work deserves the support of all vendors, top to bottom. Understanding the work challenges PSAP teams face is critical to delivering solutions that improve a team’s effectiveness. The dispatcher workstation provides a steady platform for the equipment and tools dispatchers rely on, daily. Watson Consoles delivers workstations that support a low-stress, focused and healthful work experience for the mission critical communications professional.
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