911

South Dakota Legislative Research Council

A law taking effect Friday puts safety before arrests. The law gives limited immunity for certain alcohol-related offenses to people who get help for themselves or another person in need of medical attention. One sponsor of the bill believes it could help prevent alcohol poisoning on college campuses.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Spring weather is here. For many South Dakotans that means getting outdoors and barbecuing or even standing around a campfire. While people take advantage of the warmer weather, first responders urge them to enjoy fire with caution. Sioux Falls Fire Rescue crews are using controlled demonstrations to prove how dangerous unattended grills and fire pits can be.

Sioux Falls fire inspector Tyler Tjeerdsma tosses hamburgers onto a grill that stands right next to a wall. He closes the lid, and within minutes the beige vinyl siding blackens and peels apart like taffy.

State 911 Coordinator Receives National Award

Mar 1, 2016
South Dakota Department of Public Safety

If a zombie attack, earthquake, or biblical sized flood hits South Dakota emergency communications are now statewide.  South Dakota is among the first in the nation to install a new statewide 911 network. While zombies are not a real concern –the state coordinator behind the project is being honored nationally for her efforts.

Kealey Bultena / SDPB

Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is now designated ISO Class 1. The national Insurance Services Office rates fire departments across the United States. Sioux Falls Fire Rescue is one of just 132 departments that meet the criteria for the Class 1 status.

Leaders remove a red cloth hiding part of a Sioux Falls Fire Rescue truck. Emblazoned on the white and red paint is shiny, reflective text: I.S.O. Class 1.

Rob Holso is the field representative with Insurance Services Office. He says the 100-point evaluation includes the fire department and community resources.

New technology enhancing emergency communications is being implemented in South Dakota. It will eventually allow people to share pictures and video with 911 centers during an emergency call. The new system will also include backups that are meant to make 911 services less prone to outages and failures.

Shawnie Rechtenbaugh, State 911 coordinator for the Department of Public Safety, says cell phones and other wireless communication devices have made the new technology necessary. She joined Dakota Midday and discussed the Next Generation 911 system.

South Dakota has had its first incident of swatting. This weekend, almost two dozen officers responded to a prank call of a wounded person, hostages, and a bomb at a home in Ward. Swatting is used by video gamers, and their success is determined by the level of law enforcement response to a false emergency report.

911-Upgrade Planned For South Dakota

Jan 7, 2014

If you find yourself in the middle of an emergency the normal thing to do is call 9-1-1.

But someday you might also be able to text, Skype, or even send a video to the 911 operator.

State officials are now looking to upgrade the 911 system to interact with new forms of communication technology.