The IT team and contractors should always be considered part of the mission-critical team in the 911 center.
The 911 comm center, security monitoring rooms, and command and control rooms are all mission-critical rooms. Cable management within these rooms can affect the people that are counting on 911 centers in a time of critical need. It’s crucial to prevent the CAD screen from dropping or the phone line from going dead because callers could be in a life or death struggle or they’re getting help for someone else.
Where to Start
Consoles today are adjustable for sit-to-stand, so it’s important for a console to have an appropriate cable management system. Select a console with a cable management system that can manage all the cables from the wall, floor or ceiling into the console and to the final connection.
Consoles also require extension cables to allow them to move. Without these cables, movement will rip connections apart. Additionally, make sure there are no mice and keyboard cables hanging underneath the work surface.
A lot of 911 comm centers have old cables that were replaced, but those old cables may still be in the cable management system or energy chain. These cables take up room and compromise new connections. There may also be cables that have been put in improperly and are at risk of pulling apart. Then there are also consoles that cannot be adjusted because the cable management system hasn’t been used, and any movement will cause a system failure.
Cleaning is Important
It is a great idea to clean the console and cabinets annually. A professional cleaning service, such as Console Cleaning Specialists, Inc. (C*C*S) charges around $400 to $600 per console for a once or twice a year preventative maintenance and detailed cleaning service. This is also a great time to make sure cables are being managed properly in the systems. C*C*S also provides a wire management service for around $950 to $1200 per console.
Communicating with the IT Team or Contractor
If you are a director or supervisor, but you don’t have any control over the IT team or the contractor, what do you do? Here are six steps that you can take:
- When purchasing new consoles, understand the cable management systems. Make sure you go over these with the manufacturer and have a cable management plan.
- Let the IT team or contractor know that this is a mission-critical room. Their work is just as important as the dispatcher or technician on the console. Let the team know whether their cable management is meeting the mission-critical requirements of the room.
- When in charge, take charge. Let the IT team or contractor know you are in charge of this room and set high expectations and standards.
- Take the time to educate the IT team or contractor on how the systems work. Get them in touch with the manufacturer of the console and get them familiar with the technical equipment storage so they know exactly how the cables should be run.
- Make sure the budget is appropriate so the IT team or contractor aren’t taking shortcuts due to money and time constraints.
- Make sure you or a designee inspect the work completed. This will provide the oversight to make sure things have been done right.
Console cable management does take time and effort and might require some extra budget. If you don’t have the budget, see if someone working in the 911 center will take this on as a special project. You can recognize them with an award during the year.
Remember to take charge of your mission-critical room and set the high standard for cable management.