With winter winding down, we tend to go through our closets and get rid of the clutter. What better place to start dusting than your own 911 backup center. You know, that room that hardly ever gets some love!
As much as technology has advanced, there is still a small chance of failure and the need to work out of your backup site. Alternatively, there could be inclement weather that might force you to go to a different location. Many PSAPs are revamping their backup center to mirror their primary location in the event of an emergency. Some are also utilizing the space as a training facility. Given the increased use, more Comm Centers are asking about solutions for their backup site. Here are a few recommendations to revamp your backup site and have it prepped for any emergency:
Solution 1: The Switch-a-Roo
Have you replaced your dispatch workstations at your primary Comm Center within the last 5 years? Or are your desks a little older, but in great condition?
Did you answer "Yes" to either question and therefore you're afraid to ask for money to support the backup center? Have no fear my friend, there are ways around this. Several agencies have requested funds for dispatch furniture as an "update" or "upgrade" instead of phrasing it in as "a request for new furniture" or "a request to replace existing furniture." Verbiage is key and several Comm Centers have successfully received the budget needed based on verbiage alone. Where does the switch take place? Many Comm Centers are moving the EXISTING furniture to the backup site, then use the rest of the money to purchase new consoles for the primary Comm Center. Keep the new desks and furniture where you'll use it most and rotate the older stuff to your backup site!
Solution 2: The Naked Cake... I mean "Console"
If you plan to equip your backup with the same setup as your primary Comm Center, for example, tables with 6+ monitors, don't sacrifice ergonomics to make your dollars stretch. Stacking monitors is directly related to neck and eye strain if you don't have the proper table adjustments. You can have dual surface tables without breaking the bank. Talk to your Sales Representative about your needs vs. your wants for the back up site - you probably won't need the heaters or treadmill here!
Solution 3: The MiniMe
Sometimes your backup site is significantly smaller and you're only using key equipment here. Maybe just three monitors for phone, radio, and CAD. If you're tight on space and only have a few monitors to consider, you might benefit from a smaller, single surface table. While these don't have as much counter space as the dual surface table, they get the job done AND you'll still have height adjustment and cable management. These tables also save on space if you're trying to maximize the number of positions in the room.
These three options are different and unique in their own way. The biggest factors that come into play are your budget and space limitations. Consulting early in the process with your sales representative will help create a smart and ergonomic solution for your backup center.