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VSS Pro Scheduling Software Helps Achieve Higher Level of Efficiency

Red River Regional Dispatch Center
“With the use of VSS Pro scheduling software, we were able to streamline internal communication of work schedules.”

Kathy Colvin, Director at the Red River Regional Dispatch Center

Customer Profile

The Red River Regional Dispatch Center (RRRDC) provides emergency and non-emergency services for more than 40 emergency departments in Cass County, North Dakota and Clay County, Minnesota. With the staff of 31 full-time employees, which includes 28 communications operators, RRRDC answers hundreds of calls per day, handling emergency communications for law enforcement, fire and EMS agencies across two states.


In 2001, a Joint Powers Agreement was entered into by the City of Moorhead and Clay County, Minnesota; and the City of Fargo and Cass County, North Dakota to combine public safety communications and dispatch services into a jointly operated dispatch center. Merging two independent operation units, required integration of internal systems and processes, including personnel scheduling. The selection of a unified scheduling system was straightforward and easy. The Fargo/Cass County Center and was still using a spreadsheet to schedule their staff, whereas the Moorhead/Clay County Center was already utilizing a scheduling software – Visual Staff Scheduler Pro (VSS Pro). “You just can’t compare a spreadsheet to the many benefits of scheduling software,” says Kathy Colvin, RRRDC Director. At the time of the transition, RRRDC also evaluated other scheduling programs, but none of them were so simple, yet powerful, like VSS Pro.


After bringing additional staff information to the scheduling software, and making adjustments to shifts, and time-off descriptions, due to the new staffing procedures, the scheduler could start scheduling right away. According to Colvin, VSS Pro scheduling software is so user-friendly and intuitive, that training new personnel on how to use the software can be done in minutes, not even hours, plus, it does not require involving the IT personnel.


With the use of scheduling software, RRRDC was able to streamline internal communication of work schedules. Software can be accessed from any workstation, providing the entire staff an easy access to schedule information. They can view open slots for taking time-off, or print their individual schedules. Shift supervisors can easily add any shift annotations, like no-shows due to sickness, or other unexpected circumstances. This allows schedule coordinators to adjust the schedule on the fly. The system also gives the management team instant access to scheduling data allowing them to monitor daily operations of the dispatch center. Access to the system is protected with passwords, giving the ability to change the schedule only to authorized personnel.

Using scheduling software also helps RRRDC to respond instantly and effortlessly to any reporting requests, as all scheduling information is transparent and easy to retrieve. ”With the use of scheduling software we do not need to waste our valuable time to manually combine information from several schedule sheets, as the reports are formatted to the desired layout and ready to print in seconds,” says Colvin. In addition, with access to the historical scheduling data stored in VSS Pro scheduling software, immediate answers are available if any questions arise.

Since implementing scheduling software as a center-wide solution, RRRDC was able to reduce the amount of time it takes to create schedules, but also eliminate unproductive time previously spent on responding to personnel inquires regarding their schedules. “Scheduling software really helped us achieve a higher level of efficiency,” says Colvin. “I absolutely recommend VSS Pro scheduling software to all dispatch centers,” Colvin concludes.