Dispatch Consoles

Flip-screen conference table
One of our specialties is dispatch consoles for emergency management centers like police, fire and ambulance services. Below we show our versatility with a number of ways that we address the sit/stand needs of 24 X 7 environments.

Sit/Stand Options

Americon has a number of sit/stand options for dispatch workstations and most calltaker environments. Since no two people are alike and budgets may vary, we offer a number of solutions. As we go through these options, we will make comments on the pros and cons that will hopefully help you determine which one is best for your needs. Some are mechanical lifts and others are motorized.

The Lever Lift

The lever lift option is the simplest and the least expensive. It is a spring-loaded lifting system that can take the user from sit to stand literally in a second or two. All you have to do is lift on the lever and position the top exactly where you want it. Lever adjustable worksurface sit/stand lift We calibrate the system tension based on the weight of the worksurface plus the components that will be on it. Since the user is only adjusting the height of the keyboard platform, we recommend articulating monitor arms or a motorized monitor tree like the one shown above to go with this system. The downsides of this option are that it limits the depth of the useable space. Though minimal when you have manual control, it does create the potential for pinch points when a movable component is next to one this is stationary. It should be noted that pinch points are a reality for all split-level worksurface options whether motorized or not. Unlike our competitors who treat the depth of platform just for keyboards, our solution is to make the depth much deeper than the rear monitor surface to hold more.

Split-level Motorized System

Our Split-level motorized workstations are robust and full-bodied and do not have the metal legs designed into the typical table style systems offered by our competitors. The base is finished both front and back to eliminate the need for a panel system to hide cables. The base houses lifting motors, hardware, segregated power/data cable management and CPU storage. Motorized split-level sit/stand dispatch consoleAccess to the base cavity is provided through finished front and rear hinge access doors. Monitor and power cables pass between the levels via metal shafts that protect and hide them from view. The base is freestanding and the Sit/stand levels are controlled through a programmable memory that allows each user to define ergonomically comfortable platform height combinations. A total of three memorized scenarios are available for each user. All power and peripheral cables are secured inside the base cavity to facilitate a superior cable management system. Unlike table systems, there are no exposed cables in either the sit or stand position. Our split-level motorized consoles are available in straight, concentric arc and cockpit style configurations. The freestanding base is expandable by adding stationary modules like storage cabinets, drawer pedestals, electronic enclosures and additional lengths of stationary worksurface on either side to increase the work area. The pluses are that the console base has no legs to interfere with leg movement and it includes CPU storage. It also eliminates the need for cumbersome panel walls that limit access to the storage. The downside of this option is that it is our most expensive option since it requires four separate linear actuated motors (two for each surface) and a controller. Secondly, it again like all split-levels has inherent pinch points and it limits useable worksurface depth.

Full Worksurface Motorized Lift

The motorized worksurface option utilizes the same base as the split-level but uses a simple momentary rocker switch to go from sit to stand. The advantage of this system is that it doesn’t limit the usable depth of the worksurface. We use a motorized hydraulic lifting system with only one motor so the chance of system failure is reduced significantly. sit/stand motorized Worsurface lift The system is much less vulnerable to uneven weight distribution which is a problem with all multi-motor systems. An advantage is that since the whole surface changes height, the monitors, keyboards, slatwalls, etc. all remain relational whether in the sit or stand position. Cable management is simpler and the cost of the system is significantly less in comparison to the split-level motorized system. The only downside is when placing stationary sections next to the movable worksurface, there are pinch points. Many years of research shows that operators begin their shifts by setting up shop for their individual needs. If the tools are wrong, the job gets extremely difficult and the environment can become untenable. Leg room is extremely important, so we have developed a workstation that doesn't have metal legs like the typical table systems. Rather our workstations have all of its lifting components built into the robust base. The base unit can also store computers. The area under the worksurface is free from any obstructions and there are many integrated peripheral cabinets that can be added.

The Full-lift Workstations

The full lift system offers some unique features - We favor it because Motorized hydraulic full workstation liftthere are some indigenous benefits to a workstation that doesn't have a split in the worksurface. This approach eliminates the pinch point dangers that are inherent where movable surfaces meet or cross. Moving the whole console also maintains the same relationship between the operator and his tools throughout the transition from sit to stand. Stored CPUs and other integrated peripherals move up and down with the console, so the movement of cables has been virtually eliminated.A major plus is the cost which is about the same as our motorized worksurface lift.

The CPUs are stored in the main base cavity. We mount computers on racks attached to the inside of inspection doors.CPU Door Rack When the door is closed, the CPU faces sideways to maximize leg space. When the door is opened, the CPU faces forward for access to the drives and cables. The console has both front & rear access doors so large numbers of CPUs can be stored without the need for extra storage cabinets.

Pinch Points - Inherent to the split-level are dangerous pinch points where the two surfaces meet. Another pinch point is where the worksurface lands on the stationary support cabinetry. Papers, pens, wires and fingers are commonly crunched when the operator is busy focusing on day to day operation.

Working Depth - The split level design limits the amount of usable worksurface. The operator works an 8-10 hour shift sitting and standing at a worksurface that is approximately 14" deep. Try spreading out a chart or opening a binder and laying it on the desk. This is counter productive to normal workflow productivity. In any other environment, this would be considered cruel and unusual punishment. Are we to believe that this is the best they could come up with.

The idea that we would trade away all of that useable space just doesn't make good ergonomic sense. Some say that the split-level approach is just a mechanism for creating a vertical market.

Other Factors to consider

Larger sit/stand full-lift workstations Important factors in designing a workstation:
Providing plenty of leg room, full monitor adjustability, personal storage, radios & electronics accessibility and placing keyboards directly in front of the monitors are very important features. Quick and easy transition from sit to stand allows the call taker to focus on main tasks without disruption and adjustable parabolic lighting will reduce glare on monitor screens and prevent eye strain. A good personal environment system with air above the work surface and forced air heating below may be necessary when air conditioning can't be controlled locally. Finally, a good 24 x 7 chair is an absolute must.


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