The public safety answering point located in Pierre is receiving new equipment to aid with an expansion thanks to some one-time funding from the State of South Dakota.
The 911 Coordination Board, administered by the South Dakota Department of Public Safety, has awarded the Central South Dakota Communications Center $108,388 to purchase new radios and computers. The new equipment will allow the dispatch center to outfit two additional work stations.
According to Cindy Gross, Communications Center Manager, the funding means the center can expand its response capacity now and for future use.
“We serve as the backup answering point for other dispatch and state radio centers,” said Gross. “The additional work stations give us the ability to dedicate technology and staff to handle traffic when one of the other communications centers across the state needs an assist.”
Additionally, Gross says that if there was a large emergency within its service territory, the additional consoles could be dedicated specifically to that incident.
The Central South Dakota Communications Center is located in the George S. Mickelson Criminal Justice Center in Pierre. As a public safety answering point, it has two primary functions –911 dispatch and state radio dispatch.
Through its 911 dispatch function, the center receives emergency calls from Hughes, Hyde, Jones, Stanley and Sully counties. As a state radio dispatch center, it also dispatches local, state, and federal entities to emergencies. Its state radio duties include dispatching emergency responders throughout central South Dakota, as well as throughout southeastern South Dakota.
“People are generally quite surprised by the number of calls we field on any given day and the geographical reach we have,” said Gross. “We’re fortunate to have a well-trained team who can handle the workload.”
Gross says that in 2020 the dispatch center fielded nearly 70,000 calls and dispatched nearly 58,000 calls for service.
“We’re always looking for dedicated staff who are interested in helping people in our state stay safe,” Gross added. “If you’re one of them, I invite you to check out our career opportunities at cityofpierre.org. It’s rewarding work!”