Overview: When searching for new 911 dispatch consoles, the Blue Earth County team sought a manufacturing partner that would deliver high-quality, functional 911 dispatch consoles and lifetime support.
Challenge: The previous consoles fell into disrepair and scheduling service was difficult. Dispatchers consoles are the foundational tool that supports their 24/7 team and their mission critical duties; therefore, it is important to have fully functioning equipment at all times.
Solution: After reviewing proposals from multiple vendors, Blue Earth County Dispatch selected Russ Bassett consoles for the superior product capabilities and for Russ Bassett’s commitment to regional-based, rapid response and lifelong customer care.
Improving the Dispatchers’ Environment
Tim Peterson, Communications Center Administrator, has been with Blue Earth County for nearly 30 years. He has served as Administrator for 18 months. Over the course of his career he has been a 911 dispatcher, supervisor and trainer. His experience as both operator and administrator gives him a keen sense for evaluating functional value for operators and return on investment for the agency.
“Improving the (dispatching) environment” was paramount to Peterson and team. This included making sure several features were included in the new 911 dispatch consoles:
- Ergonomic adjustments including the full BIFMA sit-to-stand height adjustment range
- A wider single-surface to accommodate side-by-side training
- Comfort controls
- Improved technology integration
- Rapid response to service inquiries
Ergonomic Dispatch Consoles
Peterson knew his team to make use of surface height adjustment regularly during their shifts. “A couple team members prefer to stand for a good portion of their shift, “Peterson shared. For this reason, expanding the adjustment range to include the 5th percentile female sitting to the 95th percentile male standing was a top priority. Russ Bassett consoles deliver the full BIFMA recommended sit-stand range. In addition, the new consoles provide monitor height and focal depth adjustment. All dispatchers can now fine-tune their equipment to support a healthy posture and monitor viewing.
At the old consoles, side-by-side training was cramped. The new Single Surface, Dual-Lift consoles maximize the available work surface and “cockpit” leg room within the position footprint. Now, the dispatcher and their trainer sit side-by-side with plenty of room for training materials.
More Comfort, Increased Safety, Better Focus
Blue Earth was seeking a more efficient, quieter, user-controlled heating and cooling solution. Dispatchers appreciated having cool air, but the old console fans were too noisy to use regularly. The dispatchers also needed localized heating in the cold winter months. However, the old consoles had ineffective radiant heating panels.
The Russ Bassett integrated Comfort Control System gives Blue Earth operators localized forced air heating and cooling from energy-efficient, ultra-quiet appliances. The desktop fans and under-surface heaters power on with a single touch. Both cooling fans can be placed anywhere on the desktop and directional air flow adjustment allows dispatchers to focus cool air where they need it. Both under-surface heaters tilt up or down to focus warm air where it is most beneficial. Both the fans and heaters move with the dispatcher when they change position from sitting to standing. As an additional safety measure, the system has an occupancy sensor that turns off the appliances when no movement is detected at the console; the appliances re-engage when the operator returns.
Better Technology Integration Reduces Console Down-Time
The Russ Bassett monitor array and monitor mounts were a welcome improvement to the IT team. Previously, when a monitor needed to be replaced, the IT team would have to remove all monitors to get to the ones placed at the center – all the monitors slid onto an array like beads on a string. On the new, improved monitor array, each monitor is affixed with an independent steel bracket allowing each monitor to be removed easily from the front of the console and without disrupting adjacent equipment. Additionally, improved cable management means Blue Earth will no longer have to be concerned with confusing and unsightly cable management, nor accidental disconnections.
Expert, Timely Service and Support
Peterson shared that their old 911 dispatch consoles “were failing often” and getting technical assistance was difficult. A key decision-making factor for the new purchase was finding a manufacturer that would “provide better service,” expertise and timely response. Russ Bassett maintains partnerships with installation and maintenance agencies nationwide; their certified Minnesota service partners means rapid response and localized assistance is available to the Blue Earth County team should the need arise.
Blue Earth County Dispatch Consoles Floor Plan
Additional Project Resources
- Sample Space Plans
- Finish Options
- Customer Endorsements
- News, Events and Education
- Project Profile – Regional Old Colony Communications Center