Pennington County 911 back up dispatch now open

RAPID CITY S.D. (KOTA TV) - Since 2012, South Dakota law states there has to be a backup 911 center. So whether it's the middle of the night or the middle of the day, the new facility is at the disposal for any disaster or technical issue that may come up.

"When you've only got one facility that's hard to do.It's very hard to keep that always working so with a backup center when somethings happens you've always got a place to go where you can carry on your mission," says Ted Rufledt the deputy director at Pennington County 911.

The former location in Fire Station 6 with only housed 5 work spaces and used a different operating program, requiring dispatchers to learn both. Camp Rapid houses 10 spaces and has the exact same program as the main location.

"This is completely redundant backup systems so if something really bad happened downtown, we can come out here and work long term," says Rufledt.

For Camp Rapid, this is a partnership that is mutually beneficial.

"This effort between all the different agencies, is another way that the South Dakota National Guard in corporations with other agencies can meet our state and federal missions," says LTC Martin Yost the construction and facilities management officer at Camp Rapid.

In October, the downtown dispatch location was having technical issues, so they moved a couple dispatchers to the backup center at Camp Rapid, and Rufledt says it worked just like it was supposed to.