The 9-1-1 Communications Center is the public safety answering point for Lake County. It is responsible for answering both 9-1-1 and nonemergency calls for law enforcement, fire, and EMS services, as well as dispatching for law enforcement, fire department, and EMS agencies.

Useful Information

  • 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.

    9-1-1 is for use in reporting emergency situations. Learning what an emergency is 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 9-1-1.

    A skinned knee, a stolen bicycle, or a lost pet shouldn't result in a call to 9-1-1. 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.

  • How to make a call to 9-1-1

    When a 9-1-1 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:

    Where is the emergency?
    What is the emergency?
    What is your name?
    What is your telephone number?

    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 a 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.

  • Will I get an immediate response if I call 9-1-1?

    If you have reported an emergency situation, law enforcement, fire, or EMS will respond to your emergency as quickly as possible. If these agencies are busy, a response will be provided in order of urgency.

  • What should I do if I accidentally call 9-1-1?

    This can and does happen frequently. If you make an accidental call to 9-1-1, stay on the line and speak with the dispatcher. This will save the dispatcher and law enforcement valuable time. If you make an accidental call to 9-1-1 and hang up, it will still go through, and the dispatcher will often make efforts to try and reach you back or even send out a law enforcement officer to verify that everything is okay. This may directly impact someone having a real emergency elsewhere in the community.

  • Talking About 9-1-1 With Your Child

    Everyone needs to know about calling 9-1-1 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.

    Make sure that your child understands that calling 9-1-1 as a joke is a crime. In some cities, officials estimate that as much as 75% of the calls made to 9-1-1 are nonemergency calls. These are not all pranks. Some people accidentally push the emergency button on their cell phones. Others don't realize that 9-1-1 is for true emergencies only. That means it is 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 9-1-1, it can delay a response to someone who actually needs it. All of Lake County has what is called enhanced 9-1-1, which enables a call to be traced to the location from which it was made. So if someone dials 9-1-1 as a prank, emergency 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 caller will be caught and punished.


April Denholm

911 Communications Director Send an Email

Deb Stamm-Gartner

911 Communications Dispatcher


911 Communications Dispatcher

Shannon Hoffman

911 Communications Dispatcher

Megan Houser

911 Communications Dispatcher / Trainer

Nancy Vickmark

911 Communications Dispatcher

Contact Information


Non-emergency Dispatch:

Non-emergency Police:

Non-emergency Sheriff:

911 Director:


County Offices Closed
Wednesday, November 13, 2019

County Offices will be closed on Thursday, November 28, and Friday, November 29, in observance of Thanksgiving.

Notice of Land Lease
Friday, November 1, 2019

The County Commissioners will offer for lease by auction on the first floor lobby of the Courthouse on 11/19/19 at 9:30 a.m. the land known as the Lake County Poor Farm. Click here for the public notice.

Invitation for Bid
Monday, October 28, 2019

Click here for Invitation to Bid - sealed bids for the Lake County Courthouse Remodel project will be received at the Lake County Auditor's Office, 200 Center East Street, Madison, SD 57042 until 2 P.M., Tuesday, November 19, 2019, at which time bids will be opened and read aloud in the Commission meeting room.

SHINE Appointments
Tuesday, October 15, 2019

The Senior Health Information & Insurance Education (SHIINE) volunteer will be taking appointments at the Lake County Extension Office located at 1000 S Egan Ave. Please call 256-7603 to make an appointment. Medicare Card and list or prescriptions are needed for the appointment.

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