Metro 911 has no emergency backup facility

During the joint Minnehaha County Commission/Sioux Falls city council meeting they had a budget presentation by Metro 911 (they jointly fund the facility). I was shocked to hear councilor Kiley say they don’t have an emergency backup facility (in case something were to destroy or close the current facility like a natural disaster, they have no other place to perform duties). Kiley brought this up because they are budgeting for a backup center (so that is good). They are also adding 4 new employees.

I can’t believe a city this size doesn’t have a backup 911 and they continually short staff them. I have also heard that the SFPD is about 16 officers short. This is what happens folks when we blow all our capital on play palaces, emergency services suffer.


#1 MK on 08.28.19 at 11:19 am

Metro doesn’t “own” a backup center, but last I knew, the City provides Metro space to house a backup center. I believe it is at one of the fire stations. (Metro owns the equipment in it however)

So I’m not sure the statement they don’t have a backup center is accurate, they just don’t own it.

For Metro to own their own would be a good thing – Right now the backup facility costs the County nothing, the city has the cost. If Metro owns the backup center, the costs will be in their budget and the county will have to start paying their share of it.

#2 l3wis on 08.28.19 at 1:07 pm

Thank you for the clarification. When I heard that, I was a little alarmed, so I was hoping they had ‘something’ for backup. We were told when those trains dumped corn DT and almost toppled the viaduct that the city has a major emergency disaster plan, I would hope having a backup 911 would be a part of that.

#3 Cully W on 08.28.19 at 2:48 pm

Metro has a backup facility inside one of the fire stations, never mind many MANY redundancies with the main one. Plus a mobile one (although comms only, no 911 phone) for special operations. The city has some 16ish emergency operations plans. Metro, MCEM, and other parties have ensured that Metro can provide undisturbed service.

I’ve read your blog prior, I’m surprised to see you championing for emergency services finally.

#4 D@ily Spin on 08.28.19 at 10:15 pm

I suspect money has been diverted away from EMS. Look at your cell phone bill. Some of those taxes are earmarked for emergency services. Generally, there’s more than enough from this source. If it’s not used it goes back into a federal fund. Most cities this size have a backup center. Both centers are connected with redundant communications. Florida coastal cities have bunkers for a backup. Before retiring, I worked on these projects. There’s lots of alternate operations and collaboration with state and federal government. However, SD is archaic. It seems nothing gets done here without padding lots of political pockets.

#5 Always thinking on 08.29.19 at 1:34 am

Whenever we get short, can’t we just call MED-Star?