This means, the furniture should support healthy ergonomic support, especially during active engagement, and allow active-comfort during watchfulness. This can be accomplished by providing open sightlines, surfaces that allow operators to spread out, and adjustment of height, reach, light and temperature. Ancillary equipment should stow within reach of the operator and not impede active work-tool access. And for teams that require steadily-manned positions, there should be dedicated space for personal items and a beverage or snack.
Support and admin furniture should offer height adjustability where possible. Mobile desks and meeting tables can support rapid reconfiguration for training, drills and active emergency response.
For older facilities or re-purposed shell buildings, the constraints on flexibility and footprint are tighter. Furniture solutions that effectively flex across these areas will enable architects and planners to imagine decades of useful applications.
What do your call-takers, dispatchers, and technicians need?
In mission critical operations, three primary user groups interact with the furniture regularly and/or have a stake in the ground when it comes to facility needs and ROI - operators, IT teams, and facility managers. Most PSAP teams report similar pain points and desire similar amenities in their dispatch console solutions. However, teams within the PSAP are often looking for different features. Here are the TOP 10 features PSAP teams desire. Which of these are most important to your teams?
Users (Dispatcher, Call taker, Operator/Monitor)
Operations (Facility Manager)
Technology (IT Manager)
Should require 50% less installation time than past builds.
Easy to access technology, cables, CPU’s etc.
Environment controls - heating, cooling, light.
Furniture should scale and reconfigure for the lifetime of the center.
“Plug and Play” options.
I want plenty of work space. I don’t want to feel cramped.
We need space for screens, PCs, input devices and blade technology.
Help reduce sound amplification so I can concentrate on my call.
Integrate power rather than using power strips/surge suppressors.
Single surface would minimize cabling interference.
I need visual communication with managers and sometimes benefit from separation.
Simple to understand and simple to specify configurations.
A place for my stuff and integration of work tools.
Low-volt, low draw appliances.
Be able to house 6+ standard size PCs .
A place for my...
Durable – lasts at least 10 years; more like 15.
Locations for 19” racks and UPS blocks.
Integration of lighting - direct and indirect. Casting a light on keyboards is needed.
Rugged and easy to maintain/clean.
Capacity for patch panels, USB devices, CAT5, telephones; consider DVI.
Prefer large surfaces for multiple input devices and to spread out.
Should look nice; a “professional look” helps the team and our reputation.
Stations should offer extra space for future technology additions.
Our area should look good and feel good to be in.
Accommodate R56 grounding standards.
Trying to accommodate all of these needs can be overwhelming. You will find, however, that reputable manufacturers have "designed-in" solution sets that meet these needs. And they have teams in place to simplify the buying process – from specification to installation.
Value of a consolidated furniture purchase
Feedback from teams like yours indicate that since the furniture procurement lead is not an expert in commercial furniture acquisition, the buying process is any number of these: scary, challenging (in a good way), not enjoyable, confusing, stressful. More so, in addition to the initial buy, someone on the team will be responsible for an enduring relationship with multiple product providers.