Public Safety Communications Project Profiles
Yale University Public Safety Communications Division
New Haven, Connecticut
Yale University’s Public Safety Communications Division monitors regular campus activities and large special events that require multi-agency support. They seek to create a professional space with console furniture that meets their daily needs and serves as an effective command post when multiple on-campus and off-campus agencies collaborate.
The Yale team needs to make use of the existing space while improving traffic flow within the room. They are seeking significant technology integration improvements since the existing consoles have proven difficult to maintain over time. Additionally, they want to add operator comfort features including ergonomic height adjustability.
Yale University Public Safety chooses Russ Bassett consoles. Not only are the functional and aesthetic needs met, the Russ Bassett support teams engage in a consultative relationship and the company exhibits a commitment to long-term customer support.
- Sit-Stand Adjustment
- Flex Bridge Storage
- Personal Storage
- Task Lighting
Creating a Flexible Campus Public Safety Command Center
Having recently combined on-campus public safety agencies under one roof, Greg Catania, Communications Manager, is charged to outfit the Communications Division with new console furniture. Catania shares, “Public Safety staffs two full-time dispatchers and a full command post for special events when we work with outside agencies. The current consoles are tight, old and outdated.”
The five-position division needs a few critical upgrades:
- More room to move freely between positions
- Improved cable management and equipment integration
- Increased comfort features for the operators
- Modern console function and styling
Room to Move
The Russ Bassett team delivers consoles that make “superb” use of space. Together, the Yale team, Russ Bassett Designers and Space Planners work through eight possible console layouts. Catania shares,
The design team was patient, always helpful, and responded quickly.
The first step to conserving valuable floor space is selecting Flex consoles with Technology Wall and usable corner storage. Communication equipment is stored within the surrounding wall which frees up the console footprint for more usable worksurface with open knee space beneath. Yale also explores blending console shapes to optimize space planning in the long, narrow room. The final selection combines 90° corner consoles and Linear consoles to provide better traffic flow for the University’s Public Safety dispatchers.
Superior Technology Integration and Maintenance Access
Flex consoles provide a “tremendous benefit” when it comes to technology integration, wire management and ongoing maintenance. Catania shares that multiple vendors have installed their communications equipment into Yale’s Flex consoles and “they notice the improvement.” CPU’s sit on trays within the Technology Wall. Panels are easy to remove and all connections are easy to view and assess. A job that historically took hours is now simple and quick to accomplish.
Communication equipment cabling integrates seamlessly within the Technology Wall. All cords and cables route through dedicated energy chains and troughs which keep them concealed and protected from accidental entanglement.
An additional benefit of the Technology Wall and side-facing cabinets is that equipment storage does not intrude into the dispatcher’s primary work area. Instead of radiating heat where the operator is working, the cabinet design passively cools equipment and vents heat away from the operator.
Operators Get Comfortable
For Yale’s 24/7/365 campus security operations, it is essential that operators can get comfortable and remain focused. Three new features support ergonomic health for regular staffers and guest teams.
- Single, height-adjustable surface
- Individually articulating monitor arms
- Individually adjustable task lighting
The suite of comfort features makes it possible for all operators to be “unbelievably comfortable,” says Catania.
A single, expansive surface provides more usable workspace than the previous split-surface solution. The expansive height adjustment range allows operators of varying statures to achieve a healthful posture when sitting and standing. Single-touch height adjustment control makes it easy for dispatchers to change their position from sitting to standing over the course of their shift, encouraging the Communications’ team to integrate healthful movement throughout their day.
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.
Independently Adjustable Monitor Arms
Articulating monitor arms are an improvement over the previous fixed monitors. Now, each operator can fine-tune each monitor in their viewing plane to meet optimal ergonomic adjustment: monitor height, focal depth, and peripheral viewing angle. Small changes can be easily made over the course of a shift to support posture change and mitigate neck and eye fatigue.
In addition to adjusting monitor placement for optimal viewing health, a movable task light helps each University public safety operator amplify focus when they need it. A two-stage dimmer softens monitor glare in bright light and provides needed illumination when the room lighting is low.
Modern Function and Style
Operator comfort and technology integration improvement are paramount. Catania and team also prefer the look and durability of steel console furniture. Steel is essentially durable, withstanding the high traffic that university event support can demand. Flex consoles checks all the boxes.
The Flex Technology Wall holds much of the required communication equipment and protects all critical power and data cables. The perforated steel panels provide passive cooling for the equipment within, keeping equipment running at optimal temperatures. Additionally, the panels create a sleek, modern look.
In addition to being pleased with the furniture design and floorplan, Catania shares that the Russ Bassett team “did a great job.”
It was phenomenal. We were up and running quickly. It was an easy transition.
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APCO International’s annual conference and expo, APCO 2023, is a premier event for public safety professionals. This year, it will be held in Nashville, TN, on August 6-9.
Russ Bassett will have a booth in the NENA 2023 Expo Hall. This is a great chance to see how different 911 control console furniture can help improve your public safety operations.
At Russ Bassett, we know that different organizations have different workflows and different control console needs. We can help you understand what to look for as you shop for new control room furniture.