Are you planning for a new dispatch center or is it time for a renovation? That’s fantastic! Do you have an architect? That’s also fantastic! Do you have a team of people with conflicting input and opinions? That’s not so fantastic. The good news is that I’m here to arm you with information that will get everyone on the same page and impress the pants off of your architect!
Plan Around the Amount of Equipment Used
Customers often ask us how much square footage do you need to account for when it comes to dispatch, call-taker, and supervisor positions? This varies based on the amount of equipment you need to support each station. Call-takers often use less equipment than dispatchers, but dispatchers generally use less equipment than supervisors. To that end, we’ve come up with a good, better, and best scenario that will cover this range of stations:
- Good: 100 square feet*
- Better: 125 square feet*
- Best: 150 square feet*
*These numbers are based on the average-size station, approximately 8’ x 8’ for the entire station, which includes room for side surfaces, CPU cabinets, and circulation areas (i.e. ADA clearances).
Other Factors That Affect Square Footage
How the room is laid out, what workflow you desire to create amongst your team, and any unique dynamics you plan to include (like a raised supervisor platform) will certainly impact the design and layout of your dispatch center as well as the amount of square footage needed. Keep in mind that raised platforms require one foot of ramp for every inch of platform. For example, 6” of platform equals 6’ of ramp.
If you’re an AutoCAD junkie like some clients, take a stab at designing your own layout by utilizing CAD blocks, which should be available upon request.
There You Have It
Whether you’re planning for a new build, you’re renovating your existing center, or you’re just scouring the interwebs for some cool information, supporting the dispatch center of your 911 or Emergency Operations Center is integral to the success of your team. Making sure everyone is comfortable and providing a healthy, workable environment is the key to establishing a positive work/life balance. Happy planning!