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Clinton County E911 Communications

Challenge

Clinton County provides E911 dispatch services for all municipalities within the county. As emergency calls increased, concerns began to arise about the need for expansion. The existing facility had housed E911 personnel since 1969 and was designed for smaller communications needs. It also didn’t meet NFPA 1221 guidelines for public emergency communication facility design.
 
To expand its E911 communications space and reduce call wait times, Clinton County wanted to create an emergency communications space within the new Clinton County Justice Center.
 

Solution

Clinton County and Shive-Hattery worked closely together to review long-term space and operational needs of E911 personnel as the new communications area was designed. Dispatchers and managers were interviewed so that Shive-Hattery better understood their needs and interdepartmental relationships. 
 
By analyzing call volume and average call lengths, and following NEMA and NFPA guidelines, it was determined that workspace for four E911 staff members would be necessary at peak times. Additional space was recommended to handle emergencies and accommodate future growth.
 
The new E911 work area was designed to be co-located with Clinton County jail operations in the new Clinton County Justice Center. The E911 services were placed within the facility in a location that will allow for growth in the future.
 
The space is designed to combat acoustical issues, improving communication by absorbing and minimizing sound reverberation. Daylight control is also integrated into the workspace to reduce glare while still offering personnel exposure to natural light. A raised floor offers easy access to cables and technology infrastructure so that computer and communications system problems can be addressed quickly. The raised floor also allows for easier workspace reconfiguration if needed.
 
Knowing that E911 staff remain at their workstations for hours at a time, the space is located adjacent to a breakroom and restrooms. The workspace is also designed to provide fast access to an adjacent stair tower for protection during severe weather, allowing E911 personnel to take calls for as long as safely possible. A quiet room located nearby provides an area for personnel to rest and decompress after handling challenging situations.
 

Impact

The Clinton County Justice Center includes a safe, comfortable, high-tech space for E911 communications that will meet the long-term call needs of the county. With the ability to house more personnel, Clinton County can now reduce call wait times to better serve community members.
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