Overview: Chula Vista is remodeling their 911 communications center, updating technology, and creating a more functional, unified workspace for their 33-member dispatching team. After issuing an RFP and reviewing multiple responses, the Chula Vista selection team visits the top ranked manufactures.
Challenge: The current floor plan and console positions are 15 years old. The team is seeking new consoles that better support operator health and comfort goals and provide better wire management. The floor plan needs to accommodate additional positions and requires a unique solution for power and data integration.
Solution: The final selection of Russ Bassett console furniture is based on superior design and function, a space plan that includes floor-level power and data integration, and ease and comfort working with the vendor’s team.
Creating a More Functional 911 Communications Center
Lieutenant Don Redmond managed the renovation project for Chula Vista, leading the technology and console selection team. Communications Manager Carla Even directs the 911 communications unit.
Lt. Redmond shares that in addition to having well-designed, efficient consoles, “Consistency of function and creating a professional look and feel in the center” was paramount to Redmond and team. This includes making sure the new 911 dispatch consoles deliver in key areas:
- Space plan, console design and function support user needs
- Improved power and data integration
- Positive vendor relationship
Unique Floor Plan Eases Dispatch Team’s Pain Points
As with many public safety answering points, Chula Vista’s 911 communications center is in a building originally designed for another purpose. Room size and architectural features, like columns, are a challenge when space planning large, sit-stand, tech integrated console furniture.
“Russ Bassett came to the forefront in design. They proposed a unique zig-zag plan that gave us the ability to integrate power and data from the floor – no awkward, unsightly ceiling poles” stated Lt. Redmond.
Consoles Support User Needs
Making sure every dispatcher has a fully functioning, well-appointed console is critical to meeting the project renovation goals. The Russ Bassett consoles give the Chula Vista dispatchers a suite of health and comfort features, all designed to promote dispatcher focus. Height adjustment, better wire management, heating and air, personally controlled lighting, and personal device charging are among Chula Vista’s console upgrades.
Height Adjustment Makes Posture Change Easy
“Dispatchers use sit-stand all the time” stated Dispatch Manager Even. Changing posture multiple times over the course of a shift helps dispatchers energize physically and mentally. Chula Vista’s new consoles meet the BIFMA requirement for height adjustment, providing a comfortable surface height for the fifth percentile seated female and ninety-fifth percentile standing male. Three programmable settings make it easy to quickly transition from sitting to standing throughout their shift.
Improved IT Integration and Wire Management is Safer for Dispatchers
Previously, Chula Vista’s 911 communications center consoles had poor wire management. Accidental disconnections were common. The Russ Bassett consoles enclose all cables and cords within energy chains, chases, and troughs. “There are no exposed wires,” shares Lt. Redmond. “This has completely eliminated the problem of dispatchers accidentally disconnecting wires and equipment.”
Even adds, “with the last (consoles) I.T. would be under the desk. Now I.T. accesses technology and equipment from the side or back of the console. Dispatchers can remain at the desk during maintenance.” This improves the working environment for both the dispatchers and information technology specialists.
Personal Comfort Promotes Focus
Providing dispatchers with the ability to adjust the temperature in their workspace helps them remain focused on their mission critical responsibilities. Two heaters are mounted below the console surface. Both heaters pivot up and down so the dispatcher can warm their lap and their feet at the same time. Two, independent and movable fans sit atop the surface delivering cool air to the dispatcher. All appliances are energy efficient and ultra-quiet.
According to Even, the desktop USB and power outlet are a welcome upgrade for dispatchers who previously had to leave their position to charge their personal devices.
Light Control at the Operator’s Fingertips
Multiple lighting options allow dispatchers to adjust their visual environment. The options and adjustment levels help promote focus and relieve eye strain in bright and ultra-low light rooms. Blue ambient light behind the monitors reduces contrast and glare. Task lights give dispatchers freedom to focus extra lighting where they need it. Situational Indicator Lights automatically alert incoming visitors, team members, and supervisors when a dispatcher is on a call, using the radio, or in need of assistance.
A Solid Vendor Relationship Eases the Console Selection, Installation and Service Experience
Knowing that they will have their new consoles for a decade or more, Chula Vista is mindful of choosing a vendor that delivers exceptional product, has a reputation for good service, and is helpful each step of the way. The team was at ease with their Russ Bassett Sales Executive. She offered early assistance with the floor plan, listened to their needs, and provided suggestions that aligned with their goals – consistency of function and creating a professional look and feel in the center.
The working relationship proved even more valuable when, shortly after the conclusion of the initial remodel, Chula Vista received approval for two drone positions. With four weeks to complete the renovation of the drone space, Lt. Redmond reached out to Russ Bassett. Lt. Redmond was impressed by the way Russ Bassett approached the challenge. They considered the options and stepped up to meet Chula Vista’s needs for the quick-turn project.
Even shares, “(Russ Bassett) consoles are far, far superior to what I’ve seen. Everything works the way it should, unlike at other centers who don’t have functional status lights.” The product and experience were “beyond expectations.” Lt. Redmond echoes the sentiment, “We haven’t been disappointed at all.”
Chula Vista Communications Center Consoles Rendering
About Chula Vista’s 9-1-1 Police Communications Center
The Communications Center acts as the nerve center for the Chula Vista Police Department. Communications personnel answer all emergency 9-1-1 phone calls and all other non-emergency requests for police service. The Communications Center is also responsible for all police radio communications, dispatching officers where they are needed, and coordinates communication with a variety of law enforcement agencies in the region.
The Chula Vista Police Department provides law enforcement services to a community of over 270,000 people. Chula Vista is the second largest city in San Diego County, 13th largest in the state and the 89th largest in the country. Chula Vista was recently designated the 10th safest city in the United States for jurisdictions with more than 200,000 population.
Chula Vista 9-1-1 in the News
Additional Project Resources
- Sample Space Plans
- Finish Options
- Customer Endorsements
- News, Events and Education
- Project Profile – Regional Old Colony Communications Center