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Dispatch centers provide the acoustician with a challenge: While they basically are open- space offices, the operators may wish for some discretion (so as to avoid disturbing their colleagues while on the phone or radio), yet they crave for whatever piece of information that can be heard from another colleague. A typical dispatch center will feature groups of desks treating either a defined geographical area or a specialty of interest. Incoming calls are taken by a frontal desk where a general practitioner will decide which specialty desk is best suited to deal with it. The specialty desk will then allocate the required means to deal with the request. In order to successfully answer, one nevertheless must make sure those means have not already been taken over by another desk.
This means that while the acoustician will try to reduce the noise levels through the use of absorptive materials in the dispatching room, efforts will be made to enhance speech intelligibility. This often results in a heavily treated open space with separate groups of specialty desks 6 m distant from each other. In addition, privacy boxes are also provided.
Examples of such dispatching centers include emergency coordination centers (typically made of firemen, doctors, paramedics, and police) in charge of evaluating the emergency, locating and sending the relevant vehicles and crews, and alerting the relevant response center (hospital, technical base), switch, and control towers.
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