EMERGENCY RESPONDER AGENCIES
Lake County 9-1-1 Communications
WHEN SHOULD I CALL 9-1-1
Lake County, along with most other counties in South Dakota, enjoys the services of a single three digit telephone number to dial in the event of a fire, police or medical emergency.
The Enhanced 911 system is part of the overall public safety communications system that exists to serve residents. Seconds after a person dials 911, the call arrives at the Lake County Communication Center. When a 911 call rings on the 9-1-1 Dispatcher’s console, the telephone number of the calling telephone is displayed. If the call is made from a landline (wireline) phone.
HOW TO MAKE A CALL TO 9-1-1
When a 911 call is answered the dispatcher will announce "Lake County 911". Stay Calm! The dispatcher will ask the following questions to find out what type of problem you have and what emergency agency is needed to assist you:
Stay on the line until the Dispatcher says it is okay to disconnect. Follow any instructions that you may be given by the dispatcher. If you are reporting a fire or medical emergency, the dispatcher will then dispatch fire departments or emergency units or dispatch an ambulance. If you are reporting a police emergency, the dispatcher will immediately dispatch the appropriate officer. 911 is for use in reporting emergency situations. It should not be used to find out if school is canceled, what time the fireworks display is on, or the bus schedule.
Talking About 9-1-1 With Your Child
Not that many years ago, there was a separate telephone number for each type of emergency agency. For a fire, you called the fire department number. For a crime, you called the police. For a medical situation, you phoned the ambulance or doctor.
In 1968, the U.S. government worked with the phone company to establish 911 as a central number for all types of emergencies. An emergency dispatcher quickly takes information from the caller and puts the caller in direct contact with whatever emergency personnel are needed, thus making response time quicker.
According to the National Emergency Number Association, 911 covers nearly all of the population of the United States. Check your phone book to ensure that 911 is the emergency number you should use in your area.
Everyone needs to know about calling 911 in an emergency. But children in particular need specifics about what an emergency is. Asking your child, "What would you do if we had a fire in our house?" or "What would you do if you saw someone trying to break in?" gives you a chance to discuss what constitutes an emergency and what should be done if one occurs. Role playing is an especially good way to address various emergency scenarios and give your child the confidence he or she will need to handle them.
For younger children, it might also help to talk about who the emergency workers are in your community - police officers, firefighters, paramedics, doctors, nurses, and so on - and what kinds of things they do to help people who are in trouble. This will paint a clear picture for your little one of not only what types of emergencies can occur, but also who can help
When to Call 9-1-1
Learning what is an emergency goes hand in hand with learning what isn't. A fire, an intruder in the home, an unconscious family member - these are all things that would require a call to 911. A skinned knee, a stolen bicycle, or a lost pet wouldn't. Still, teach your child that if ever in doubt and there's no adult around to ask to always make the call. It's much better to be safe than sorry.
Make sure your child understands that calling 911 as a joke is a crime. In some cities, officials estimate that as much as 75% of the calls made to 911 are nonemergency calls. These are not all pranks. Some people accidentally push the emergency button on their cell phones. Others don't realize that 911 is for true emergencies only. That means it's not for such things as a flat tire or even about a theft that occurred the week before.
Stress to your child that whenever an unnecessary call is
made to 911, it can delay a response to someone who actually
it. All of Lake County has
is called enhanced 911, which enables a call to be traced
to the location from which it was made. So if someone dials
as a prank,
personnel could be dispatched directly to that location.
Not only could this mean life
or death for someone having a real emergency on the other
side of town, it also means that it's very likely the prank