TOWN OF DICKINSON – Broome County has made upgrades to its 9-1-1 center to help ensure that dispatchers can operate at peak performance.
The county showed off renovations to the dispatch center within the Public Safety Building in the Town of Dickinson.
It’s the first upgrade to the facility in fifteen years.
The project cost $350,000 which came from the county’s share of cell phone 9-1-1 surcharges.
Dispatchers worked out of a backup location for over eight weeks while the room was gutted and new wiring, computers and other IT infrastructure was replaced.
Many of the changes were designed to increase the comfort level of the dispatchers, including dimmable lights, individual lighting, heating and fans at each station, new chairs and desks and more space between work station.
Director of Emergency Services Michael Ponticiello says the employees themselves had a lot of input.
“There was a team of dispatchers that worked together. They visited other, different 9-1-1 centers to evaluate the different furniture and different options you can get when designing a 9-1-1 center,” he said.
“It’s extremely important when you’re here for a 12 hour shift, especially during those busy times, those crazy times, that you’re comfortable, that you have the space to do the things you need to do and go from there,” says Dispatcher John Paffie.
Paffie says that while dispatchers must deal with very stressful situations like flooding or a police officer shooting, it’s also very rewarding when they talk people through delivering a baby or performaing CPR.
Broome County currently has forty-five dispatchers and is looking to add seven more to keep up with demand.