Pennington County 911 receives hundreds of calls a day with many of them accidental

Published: Jan. 17, 2021 at 10:34 AM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Hearing a noise from your pocket realizing you’ve accidentally called a friend is no big deal many people have done it, but what if instead it’s an emergency dispatcher on the other side?

“First thing if you accidentally call 911, don’t hang up,” says Ted Rufledt Jr. from Pennington County 911. “Just stay on the line and talk to us and we’ll get your name and confirm your phone number and verify what’s going on.”

Pennington County 911 receives between 400 to 500 calls a day this time of the year and many of them accidental.

If you do hang up, dispatch will call you back to see why you called

“Hanging up is the worst thing you can do because that causes us to have to take more time to try and get back in touch with you and if we can’t get back in touch with you we will dispatch a response,” says Rufledt Jr.

It’s all about public safety, officers are sent just in case the hang up was intentional and the caller couldn’t stay on the line to give information about the situation.

“So it changes our response if you remain on the line and give the information to the dispatcher because then we know that who called and that it was an accident so we go in with that information,” says Patrol Liutenatant Chris Hislip from the Pennington County Sheriff’s Office. “Now if you just hang up though, we are really unsure of what is going on so that actually causes us to send potentially additional resources that are unneeded and take them away from true emergencies.”

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