An important part of the Central Virginia Radio Communication Board’s Capital Improvement Plan is to bring necessary and important enhancements to their member jurisdictions dispatch centers.
After the launch of the new Harris P25 800 MHz Mission Critical Public Safety digital communications system in July of 2017, the Board began to focus its efforts on upgrading other critical aspects of the communications framework, including an upgrade to the workstations of the region’s communications officers.
One thing that all three member jurisdictions had in common was aging console furniture. Dispatch workstations have anywhere from four to six monitors, two or three keyboards, communication radios and several phone positions each, not to mention the other essential peripherals that are needed to provide essential 911 services.
Though the aging console furniture has not affected the outcome of services provided to the local communities or emergency personnel, it has the potential to inhibit the optimization of advances in technologies. “With a reconfiguration of the dispatch center, dispatchers will be able to work with increased efficiency and comfort.”, noted Jeff Johnson, E-911 Director for Bedford County. Additionally, Sam Bryant, Amherst County Public Safety Director stated that, “Providing employees with a clean, easily accessible and customizable workstation will provide a dispatcher with the tools they need to operate at their best.” Two options that dispatchers are excited about are the ability to adjust the height of their consoles so that they can either sit or stand while they work and the ability to regulate the temperature at their stations with built in heaters and fans.
Earlier this year, the Lynchburg Department of Emergency Services was the first to successfully complete their dispatch center enhancements including not only new console furniture but also upgrades to the facilities electrical and data communication lines and elevated floor structure. “Having a solid partnership with other localities has been most beneficial in that we are all able to present ideas, share experiences and learn together to make these projects successful.”, says Melissa Foster, Director of the Lynchburg Department of Emergency Services and Chair of the Central Virginia Radio Communications Board. “This partnership allows us to make the necessary upgrades when needed so that any one part of the system does not become outdated.”
The CVPDC provides financial and administrative staffing services to the Central Virginia Radio Communications Board.