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Brightening Your 911 Dispatch Center with Low-Light Loving Plants

Updated: Apr 10

Plants in 911 dispatch center

In the intense and fast-paced environment of a 911 dispatch center, incorporating plants can help reduce stress for dispatchers and call takers. Bringing a touch of nature indoors enhances the workspace's appeal by creating a calming atmosphere and signalling to visitors, like new hires, that the center is a caring workplace.


If you're wondering which plants to bring into the center, focus on selecting varieties that thrive in low-light conditions. Below are some of the best plants to consider for brightening your dispatch center, each offering unique benefits and requiring minimal care, making them ideal for busy professionals like dispatchers and call takers. The vast majority of "indoor" plants originate from the tropical and subtropical regions of the globe, explaining their need for significant atmospheric humidity and their inability to tolerate frost or high temperature variations, such as opening windows in winter.

Here is an example of how plants can be integrated into a control room.

All the plants on this list are perfect for 911 environments where natural sunlight may be scarce and the temperature is stable.

Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen)

Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen) - plants for 911 dispatchers

Aglaonema (Chinese Evergreen) has striking variegated leaves in vibrant shades, adding a splash of color without the need for constant care. These plants are drought tolerant, thrive in low-light areas, and are on NASA’s list of air-purifying plants, helping to remove benzene and formaldehyde. However, colorful varieties may need a bit more light to maintain their hue.

Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant)

Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant) - plants for 911 dispatch

Chlorophytum comosum (Spider Plant) is renowned for its low maintenance and ability to thrive in low light. Its long, spindly foliage and small white flowers create an attractive display, perfect for hanging baskets placed atop file cabinets and shelves. Spider Plants are easy to grow indoors but can be sensitive to fluoride in tap water, which commonly causes "burnt tips." Placing them near workstations or in common areas like break rooms can enhance air quality and add a refreshing touch of greenery. 

Dracaena fragrans (Corn Plant)

Dracaena fragrans (Corn Plant) - plants for 911 dispatchers

Dracaena fragrans (Corn Plant) resembles small tropical palms and can brighten any space with a hint of the exotic. Easy to care for, they only need occasional watering and placement away from direct sunlight. However, they are toxic to pets, making them a less ideal choice if K-9 comfort dogs visit the dispatch center. The best spots for Corn Plants, considering their size and bulky features, are corners of the room where they can stand out without obstructing daily operations. They can also serve as natural dividers alongside filing cabinets or at the ends of workstation rows, enhancing privacy and reducing noise without sacrificing accessibility. 


Epipremnum aureum (Pothos / Devil’s Ivy)

Epipremnum aureum (Pothos / Devil’s Ivy) - plants for 911 dispatchers

Epipremnum aureum (Pothos / Devil’s Ivy) is ideal for hanging baskets in low-light spots. Its variegated green vines trail down elegantly, creating a beautiful cascading effect with minimal upkeep. Strategic placement within a 911 dispatch center can significantly enhance the workspace’s aesthetic appeal and air quality. Consider using hanging baskets to allow the plant's vines to beautify areas without taking up desk or floor space, or placing them on shelves and cabinets where they can cascade down gracefully. Small pots next to computer monitors or on partition tops can add greenery without impeding functionality, while utilizing window ledges leverages natural light for plant health and improves the view for dispatchers, potentially reducing eye strain and increasing productivity. Incorporating Devil’s Ivy into break areas can transform these spaces into more serene and inviting retreats, aiding in stress reduction. Adorning entrances and waiting areas with this versatile plant makes these spaces welcoming and demonstrates a commitment to a positive and healthy work environment. 


Sansevieria (Snake Plant)

Sansevieria (Snake Plant) - plants for 911 dispatchers

Sansevieria (Snake Plant), though not quite indestructible, is perfect for adding greenery without the worry. It thrives in low light and requires minimal watering, making it suitable for even the busiest corners of the 911 center. This plant is popular as one of the most effective toxin-fighting plants, with NASA studies showing it can remove major toxins from the air (benzene, formaldehyde, trichloroethylene, xylene, and toluene), making it an excellent choice for a 24/7 operation. Incorporating Snake Plants can significantly enhance both the aesthetics and air quality of the workspace, with strategic placement in entrance or reception areas making a strong statement and welcoming staff and visitors with purified air and striking greenery. Their compact, upright growth allows for placement on individual workstations to improve air quality without occupying much space. Break rooms benefit from the addition of Snake Plants, contributing to a more relaxing and healthier environment for dispatchers on their breaks. Utilizing unused wall or corner spaces adds visual interest and purifies the air without impeding foot traffic. For areas lacking natural sunlight, such as bathrooms or storage rooms, Snake Plants offer a low-light, low-maintenance greening solution. Placing them on divider tops can maximize their air-cleaning benefits across multiple workstations, and situating them near electronic equipment can help absorb electromagnetic radiation. 


Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily)

Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily) - plants for 911 dispatchers

Spathiphyllum (Peace Lily) not only brightens spaces with its lush foliage and white flowers but also purifies the air. Adaptable to both dark and bright areas, it enjoys regular watering and misting. Consider placing them in waiting areas like reception to create a welcoming atmosphere for visitors and staff. Another good spot for them is the break room, where they can create a refreshing space for lunches and breaks. Alternatively, they can be placed next to printers or copiers to absorb toxins and improve air quality around office equipment. 


Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ Plant)

Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ Plant) - plants for 911 dispatchers

Zamioculcas zamiifolia (ZZ Plant) thrives in low-light conditions and requires very little attention, making it perfect for environments like a 911 dispatch center where attention to plant care is secondary. Also known as the Eternity plant due to its hardiness, its glossy leaves bring cheerful energy to any space, including corners or spaces between workstations, as long as they don’t get in the way. Because they don't need frequent watering, placing them on higher shelves or in high-traffic areas like main corridors and entryways means they won't suffer from occasional bumps or brushes. Placing the ZZ plant in the reception area can immediately signal to visitors, like potential new hires, that the dispatch center is well-maintained and caring.

Renovate your 911 dispatch center

The benefits of incorporating plants into the dispatch center go beyond aesthetics, transforming the workspace into a more inviting and calming environment for both newcomers and regular staff. By choosing low-light, low-maintenance plants, you can create a vibrant green space that supports the well-being of dispatchers without adding to their workload, maximizing the center's aesthetics while purifying the air of toxins. Remember, there’s a plant out there that will fit perfectly into your center, bringing a bit of nature’s tranquility to 911 dispatchers. 


Are you renovating your 911 dispatch center? We can help you through the entire process. We design and build 911 dispatch consoles for PSAPs throughout North America. With more than 25 years of experience in the specialized furniture industry, we take ergonomics very seriously. Planning a floor layout that maximizes the well-being of operators in the control room is part of the services we offer. Incorporating plants is just one step toward creating an appealing workspace, but if you want to take your center to the next level, you can chat with us, or fill out this form, and a member of our team will get in touch with you. 


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