Call non-emergency line for firework complaints
Fourth of July weekend is almost here and folks are eager to get out their fireworks for some fun and celebrations. But before you think about doing that there are some things you need to know.
It is a busy time of year for everyone. That includes police, firefighters, and even 911 call centers. So it's important you have a plan and know who to call in case an accident happens.
For Metro Communications in Sioux Falls, the Fourth of July is historically their highest call volume day of the year. Last year, on July 4th between 8 p.m. and midnight, they had a 250 percent increase in calls.
"So it's a significant workload on the 911 center. Those calls could be 911 calls or they could also come in on our non-emergency number,” said Jesseca Mundahl, Deputy Director of Metro Communications-911.
Typically the calls staff hear on Fourth of July range from complaints about neighbors setting off fireworks, to situations getting out of hand or involving alcohol, and incidents occurring from fireworks like an injury or a fire.
Staff says depending on the situation, it's important you call the right number. Those who have a firework complaint are asked to call the non-emergency line at 605-367-7000, instead of 911.
"911 we want to make sure that we're answering those calls first. So they are generally reserved for what we consider emergencies, like medical emergencies. In times where there's a lot of call volume we're always going to answer the 911 lines first,” said Mundahl.
For those taking part in the firework festivities, any firework that launches a projectile is illegal within Sioux Falls city limits.
"Which kind of limits it to snakes, smoke balls, sparklers, fountains, things like that you can use in Sioux Falls,” said Battalion Chief Mike Top with Sioux Falls Fire Rescue.
"Out in the county, we ask that people be respectful of the residents that live out there and the livestock that may be present while shooting off fireworks so that we don't spook any cattle,” said Captain Joe Bosman with the Minnehaha County Sheriff's Office.
Also, come prepared.
"Have a water source close by. When you're out in the country you're not by your own house where you might have a garden hose hooked up, so be thinking of that if you are out in a rural area,” said Captain Bosman.
Extra officers will be on duty this weekend to respond to firework calls. The fine for violating the Sioux Falls firework use ordinance is $107.50.