The Red River Regional Dispatch Center (RRRDC) knew back in 2010 that they needed to upgrade their aging workstations. The current ones did not meet with the ergonomic needs of the employees and they provided no environmental controls or safeguards. Added to this, the workspace was not optimal and the nature of the floor plan on the dispatch floor made for a constricted traffic pattern. Another issue had to do with unacceptable noise levels.
With new companies arriving on the scene and new options being offered in a variety of areas, it was imperative to do a thorough job of researching all of the possibilities within this industry. Trade journals and national conferences provided a valid starting point, but the real test was seeing different workstations in use at other Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) and talking to the actual users.
Over the course of two years administrative staff members saw firsthand the vast array of offerings in the world of PSAP workstations. Many of the companies employed similar designs, but with varying degrees of structural integrity, power and cable management systems, options and upgrades. In order to sort through all of these options an extensive Request-For-Proposal (RFP) was drafted and directly mailed to eight of the most well-known companies in September of 2012. Additionally this RFP was placed in local newspapers and on the web. The RFP required a site visit but gave companies freedom to design the best product for the needs of teh RRRDC.
After an administrative review process of the responses to the RFP, the company selected as the best candidate to meet our needs was Xybix Systems Inc.
From the start Xybix Systems Inc. assigned a professional designer to work on the RRRDC project who provided a number of floor plans to review, along with key decision making advice in coming up with the best possible product. Once these initial decisions were made production could begin on a custom design that would fulfill the important needs for RRRDC employees.
April 30th of 2013 the workstations arrived. As one can imagine, “live” installs are not the most desirable for everyone involved in this type of changeover. A high level of coordination between Xybix installers, building management personnel, Motorola techs, CenturyLink techs, Fargo IT techs and RRRDC personnel was imperative for everything to go smoothly. Over the course of about five business days the old workstations were disassemble and removed and all eight of the new workstations were constructed with as little disruption to ongoing services as possible.
Much like looking at the perfect floor plans for a new house one never can quite get the sense of every nuance until the house is actually built. This was true in this project as well. The final outcome was somewhat of a surprise as the amount of increased workspace became obvious, yet at the same time the floor space increased in a room that did not change in dimension. The functionality was everything that we planned for and the aesthetics of the room increased dramatically for the employees.
The final outcome of the Xybix workstation project not only met expectations but actually exceeded it in some areas. The RRRDC is now functioning with the latest design in meeting the ergonomic needs of a large regional Public Safety dispatch center. Dispatchers are afforded the workspace they need, the ability to make any adjustments necessary, and have the environmental safeguards of anti-bacterial laminates and airborne germ eliminators. The radio, telephone and computer technicians are very pleased with the design for working with their respective CPUs and cabling along with the enhanced power and cable management systems. The overall comfort levels for the dispatchers has been greatly increased thus leading to higher worker satisfaction. The added safety and health related aspects of our workstations is expected to lead to fewer worker sick days thus leading to better services being provided to the public and all first responders in the field as well as long term cost savings.