Design in a Dispatch Center: Quality and Why It's Worth It

Posted by Ken Carson on Jun 14, 2018 9:39:58 AM


Totally WorthIt
I talk with many public safety professionals at tradeshows, and after showing them how beautiful our new consoles are, they often joke that they don’t deserve nice stuff. I’m not sure why they’d think something like that. Do ugly consoles last longer than nice ones? Why do they feel they aren’t worth the quality option?

Quality Matters

We all have our priorities when getting ready to purchase long-term items, and we’ve all spent long periods of time weighing the pros and cons before investing in something new.

I went through these motions when I was buying ski gear for my growing boys every year. To come to the right decision, my thought process was broken down into two main options:

  • First, I can save money and buy used gear for them at a cheap price. They are just going to outgrow it anyway, right? The problem with this is that used gear can be well-worn and won’t perform well. This doesn’t help my kids when they’re trying to learn how to ski, and it certainly won’t help them learn to love skiing in the outdoors. The way I see it, they won’t have a good time if their boots hurt or their skis are the wrong size.  
  • The second option is to spend more money and get them ski gear that fits well. This includes providing them with warm clothing so that they are not shivering all day. If I spend this money up front, I increase the chance of achieving my main goal: helping my boys make skiing a part of their lives that they will eventually pass down to their own families.

Why Is Quality Design Important in Dispatch Centers?

What does buying ski gear have to do with the design in dispatch centers? The same concept about quality can be applied when investing in new consoles.

Dispatch centers are too often seen as the stepchild of the public safety department. I’ve seen counties spend more money on jail cells than they do on their dispatch center. In fact, I’ve seen dispatch rooms built in old jail cells. Yikes!

Why can’t dispatch centers look like professional work environments? We have all seen the home remodel shows, and it is amazing what a little bit of thoughtful design can do.

If you provide dispatchers with quality work environments, they will feel more appreciated and will be more comfortable at work. Feeling happiness and comfort at work generally leads to better productivity, so investing in quality and design actually helps all parties.

How Can You Apply Quality Design in a Dispatch Center?

Keep in mind that design should encompass the overall layout of the room. A trained designer will carefully think through each detail, such as who will sit by each other and where the aisleways will go.

Design also applies to the overall look of the consoles as well as how they perform. This includes thinking of ergonomic design, equipment placement, and storage abilities.

The color selections of the furniture are also part of the design. What tones go well with each other? Does a wood-grain option work well in a dispatch environment? What aesthetics and functions will stay appealing even when trends change in the design world?

Closing Up

As you can see, design absolutely does belong in a dispatch center. Why wouldn’t you get consoles that look great and perform as they should?

The days of consoles looking like grungy high school lockers are over. It’s time to think big and make your center look professional. The good news is that this can be achieved without spending the extra cost I spent on ski gear every year, as quality dispatch consoles should hold up for years.

Just remember quality always pays off. After all, both of my boys now love skiing, so it appears my strategy was successful.

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Topics: Employee Health, Design