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History

1980   
  • Prior to 1980, dispatch was provided by the Sioux Falls Police Department, with uniformed officers and civilian employees handling all dispatch duties for police, fire, ambulance, and contracted services for the rural areas.  In 1980, a governing board for Minnehaha County and Metro Communications Commission was formed.
1989   
  • The South Dakota Legislature passed a funding bill allowing 911 agencies to receive $.75 surcharge on all telephone lines in South Dakota.
1993   
  • Enhanced 9-1-1 (E-911) was implemented in the Sioux Falls area. E-911 allows dispatchers to see the location and phone number from incoming emergency calls.
2000   
  • Metro Communications achieved the honor of becoming the first Accredited Center of Excellence (ACE) in South Dakota and the 45th in the world. This recognition is given by the National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch. 911 Centers must meet a stringent set of guidelines, policies and protocols to earn and maintain this accreditation. In addition, individual medical call taking performance is measured and must meet or exceed the compliance standards as set forth by the Academy.
  • Remodeled and expanded the dispatch center to accommodate growth and future demands for public safety, also  telephone system and radio consoles upgraded.
2003   
  • Re-accredited as a Center of Excellence by the National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch
2004

 

2004   
  • Metro implemented New World CAD system.  A integrated system with mapping, computer aided dispatch, mobile computing and records system. 
  • Minnehaha County began implementation of the State Radio System. The system allows public safety officials radio communications with each other throughout the state.
2005   
  • Metro hosted their first 911 Citizen’s Academy.  The phone system in Metro was updated to the CML Emergency Services Inc Sentinel 911. The new system has many features which aid in the dispatch process, the biggest being Phase II capability.  Phase II allows the dispatcher to obtain the location of a cellular phone within 100 meters of the caller’s location. The ability greatly enhances public safety capabilities as the use of cellular phones continues to grow.
  • The FCC mandated all cellular phones need to be GPS equipped, essentially meaning “Phase II” capable.
2006   
  • Re-accredited as a Center of Excellence by the National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch.
  • Tactical Dispatch Team created to assist local and statewide SWAT teams.
2007   

  • State Radio implementation complete.
  • Additional call taker positions are installed to accommodate the increasing number of incoming calls within our area.
  • Metro is established as a stand-alone agency.
2008
2008   
  • Non-management staff joined AFSCME and began working under their first union contract.
2009   
  • Radios are added to additional call taker stations, making them fully functional dispatch stations.
  • Dispatch consoles upgraded to match the new consoles installed in 2007.
  • Three year labor contract signed with AFSCME 3516
  • Re-accredited as a Center of Excellence by the National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch
  • In November, the operation of the radio shop was discontinued
  • Purchased Telestaff to assist with scheduling and payroll
  • Non-medical QA program implemented
  • Upgraded mapping software for New World CAD
2011   
  • NCIC was updated
  • Radios were upgraded to comply with P25 requirement
  • Discontinued analog voice paging
  • 1st staff member to earn their ENP(2nd in South Dakota)
2012   
  • South Dakota 911 surcharge increased to $1.25 per subscriber 
  • Re-accredited as a Center of Excellence by the National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch
  • Citizen Academy merged with Sioux Falls PD
  • Obtained additional space for separate training room
  • Two year labor contract signed with AFSCME 3516
2013

 

2013   
  • April 9th - Ice storm crippled the city resulting in over 4000 911 calls in the 1st 72 hours!
  • Developed in-house B-Pad evaluators
  • New critical skill training for QA - Pit Stops, increase call review from 3 to 6 per month
  • 1st staff member to achieve RPL
2014   
  • Strategic plan adopted
  • Four more staff members achieved their ENP Certification
  • Three year labor contract signed with AFSCME 3516
2015   
  • New phone system implemented TSC Xt911
  • Re-accredited as a Center of Excellence by the National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch.
  • Two staff members earned their ENP Certification
  • 1st staff member to earned CMCP Certification
  • Entered into partnership with NCMEC in the Missing Kids Readiness Project
  • Paramedics Plus EMS began servicing the Sioux Falls area
  • STAR Committee was formed
  • SFFR obtained ISO Rating 1
2017   
  • First Joint Public Safety Citizen's Academy, partnering SFPD, SFFR, Paramedics Plus and Metro Communications
  • Started preparing for the switch to Zuercher Suite for CAD software
  • Three year labor contract signed with AFSCME 3516
2018
2018   
  • South Dakota extended 911 surcharge increase of $1.25
  • Finished the transition to Zuercher Suite
  • Re-accredited as a Center of Excellence by the National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch
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