Public Safety Communications Project Profiles
Prince William County Office of Public Safety Communications
Prince William County is beginning a much-anticipated renovation. The project includes replacing 15+ year old dispatch consoles that are in disrepair.
Prince William’s existing consoles, expected to function fully to end-of-life, are fraught with mechanical failures. Since the console provider discontinued the product line during the would-be functional lifetime of the consoles, Prince William is left without parts and support.
Prince William county selects a vendor whose products are proven to stand up to the rigors of 24/7 use in the public safety space. Equally important is this vendor’s proven commitment to their customers.
- Linear and Corner Consoles
- Flex Bridge Storage
- End-of-Run Meeting
- Personal Comfort System
Modern Consoles Improve the Prince William County Office of Public Safety Communications
Prince William’s 15+ year old consoles are not fully functional. Mechanical components are failing regularly. Since the manufacturer has discontinued the product line, it is difficult to find the parts required to keep the consoles functioning properly. Eddie Reyes, Director of Public Safety Communications, takes on the capital improvements project visioned under the previous director.
In cooperation with the Operators and IT team, Reyes evaluates their current vendor’s new product and multiple alternate vendors. The team is looking for consoles that deliver in three specific areas:
- Storage Capability
- Equipment Integration
Prince William is thrilled to find Russ Bassett consoles. The consoles deliver against their priorities, they have a modern look, and they improve the dispatcher’s comfort and workflow. In addition, multiple console styles make is possible to combine multiple workstation shapes and maintain a professional look throughout the space.
Lifetime Support and Nothing Less
Since Prince William endured late stage struggles of aging dispatch consoles, it is critical to find ultra- durable consoles AND a team committed to supporting Prince William for the long haul. “The all-steel construction of Russ Bassett’s consoles is modern looking and we know it will stand up to dispatching for many years.” In addition to the superior build of the consoles, Russ Bassett demonstrates their commitment to long-term customer care.
Worth noting is the project is in full swing during unusual circumstances, COVID-19, which impacts all parties involved. Reyes shares, “The company president called with a personal commitment to deliver the furniture on time.” The personal assurance during that time impressed Reyes and the Prince William team. As promised, the furniture was delivered on-time and installation was smooth.
Don’t Underestimate the Value of Proper Storage
According to Reyes, “Without proper personal storage, it is hard to keep a dispatching space tidy.” The new consoles provide each operator concealed space for their personal belongings. In addition, adequate technology storage means no overflow equipment on the work surface.
When there is a place for everything, it is easier to stay organized and focused on the mission critical work. In general, the “feel” of the center is improved with the addition of appropriate agency and personal storage.
Easing the Equipment Installation and Maintenance
The smart design of Russ Bassett’s technology wall is appealing to the IT team. It is easier to access equipment and they can perform service checks from the front or back of the console. All equipment and communications cables are routed through channels that keep them neat and protected. Built in ventilation keeps air flowing and temperature regulated, protecting Prince William’s technology and equipment investment. Reyes adds,
We can service the workstation while the employee is working which saves the team time and reduces disruption during the workday.
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.
Improving the Dispatcher’s Work Experience
While renovating the existing space, Russ Bassett helps Prince William reconfigure the floorplan to accommodate more positions. In addition, each workstation is larger. The well-thought space prepares Prince William for future growth:
- they can add more monitors to each position,
- there is room for additional equipment
- and the call-taking and radio positions can expand to take on full dispatching
“The Operators are impressed by the large work surface at each station,” shares Reyes. The previous consoles have a small primary surface and a keyboard platform. The new console worksurface provides the dispatchers an uninterrupted workspace that can accommodate multiple keyboards, communications equipment and room for work tools and paperwork. The dispatchers no longer feel cramped and their stations are far more organized. Plus, the dispatchers like that they can move the surface and the monitors at the same time; this makes it simple to change position from sitting to standing during their shift.
The support I got from the highest level, attention to detail, and the follow through demonstrated Russ Bassett’s commitment to our project and agency. The furniture is highly functional and the center looks modern and professional, shares Reyes.
Prince William County Before and After
Prince William Floor Plan
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