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Miami County 911 dispatchers want treadmill desk to combat long hours

Published: Thursday, February 01, 2018 @ 6:56 AM
By: Nancy Bowman - Contributing Writer

Miami County commissioners gave verbal approval this week to a grant request to buy a treadmill desk for telecommunicators at the county-wide 911 Communication Center.

Jeff Busch, center director, said the intent of the desk would be to allow employees to lessen the impact of a sedentary job with shifts of 10 to 12 hours. Last November, he discussed with county commissioners and the center’s board of directors the possibility of buying the desk to allow interested employees to be more active.

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The center board of directors supported the concept, if outside funding could be secured to buy the desk to help avoid additional requests for treadmills from other departments. Busch said Wednesday he had discussed the possibility of securing a mini-grant through a local foundation. The estimated treadmill desk cost was $1,400.

After hearing liability concerns in earlier discussions, Busch said checks were made with lawyers, who said there is a workers’ compensation waiver for exercise equipment. A policy would be needed to prohibit use by non-employees and require proper footwear and training before use, he said.

A video from a dispatch center in California shared with commissioners Wednesday showed telecommunicators talking on the phone while walking at the desk. A maximum speed of 4 mph was mentioned.

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The dispatch center has six work stations and would buy one unit.

Commissioners Jack Evans and John “Bud” O’Brien said they were OK with the grant application.

Commissioner Greg Simmons said he had questions about a waiver and workers’ compensation claims. He said he would vote “no” if a formal vote was taken, but was OK with the majority’s support of the grant request.