You may have seen an episode of Extreme Makeover on one of the home improvement channels. The premise of the show is simple; a room in someone’s home is in desperate need of updating because it looks drab and dull. The makeover team comes to the rescue and converts the room into something much more appealing over one weekend.
The show demonstrates how quickly a room can be improved simply by heading out to the local hardware store, getting a can of paint for the walls, and picking out a new couch or area rug. Voila! By the end of the episode, the whole room has a new look that people rave about as soon as they enter the improved space. Can this same transformation occur in a 911 dispatch center? Absolutely!
Updating Your Dispatch Console
You can certainly repaint your dispatch center walls or have the carpet cleaned or replaced, but you can also improve the furniture itself. Some of the dispatch furniture manufacturers can sell you replacement fabric tiles and other upgrades to refresh the stations. You can also change your color scheme or stay the same, depending on what kind of ambiance you want to create.
That being said, here’s some advice on updating your workstations:
- Replace the fabric tiles. There are many reasons why you’d want to replace the fabric on your stations. Sometimes the fabric gets dirty after years of people brushing up against the panels when walking by, and similarly, sometimes the fabric gets worn from people leaning over the panels to talk to the dispatch staff. When this wear and tear happens, the center can look a bit worn even though the consoles have many years of life ahead of them.
- Consider adding melamine tiles along highly worn-out areas. Instead of replacing your current fabric tiles with new ones, you may want to consider upgrading to melamine tiles along busy aisles. This provides a durable surface that can better deal with the abuse of police duty belts brushing up against the consoles day in and day out.
- Reuse components when possible. If more than the tiles need to be replaced, such as the actual tables and computer cabinets, you can save money if you’re thinking of replacing your console. When renovating with a new product from your current console supplier, sometimes you can save on costs by reusing some of the components, like the panels, instead of replacing the entire console.
- Ask about replacement and upgraded features in advance. On the other hand, if you are looking to buy new dispatch consoles, find out if they can be refreshed in the future simply by replacing the panels. This should be one of the many questions you ask suppliers when researching new consoles. This extra feature can save you time and money in the future.
You don’t have to spend an enormous amount of time and money if you’re hoping to refresh your dispatch center. Small touches and upgrades can go a long way, and you’ll be surprised how a modern, clean spin can positively contribute to the mood of the room. Just be sure to research your options ahead of time so that you save the most money while making the best impact. Enjoy your new space!