September 23, 2020

South Dakota 9-1-1 Coordinator Receives National Award

PIERRE, S.D. – South Dakota’s 9-1-1 Coordinator is being honored this week for her efforts to help establish a new statewide emergency communications network.

Shawnie Rechtenbaugh of Pierre will receive the Government Leader Award Tuesday night in Washington, D.C. The award is being presented at the 13th annual NG9-1-1 Honors Awards Reception which is sponsored by the NG91-1-1 Institute, 911 Education Foundation and the Industry Council for Emergency Response Technologies (iCERT).

Rechtenbaugh is an employee of the South Dakota Department of Public Safety. She is coordinating the state’s efforts to implement a Next Generation 9-1-1 (NG911) system.  The network would provide an advanced technological communications link to various emergency communication sites located statewide. The system, which will take years to fully implement, is the first statewide hosted 9-1-1 network in the nation.

As the state’s 9-1-1 coordinator, Rechtenbaugh has been working with the contractor building the system and has served as the contractor’s liaison to the South Dakota 9-1-1 Coordination Board. Department of Public Safety Secretary Trevor Jones says Rechtenbaugh’s work has been extensive and detailed.

“Shawnie has been working with 28 different emergency call centers statewide on this project,” Jones says. “It takes someone who has the knowledge, patience and ability to deal with different systems and people. That’s Shawnie. The sole reason South Dakota’s move to NextGen has been successful so far is because Shawnie is our 9-1-1 coordinator.”

Rechtenbaugh has worked in state government for 11 years.  She says the award is an honor.

“Putting together this new system is a challenge, but rewarding,” she says. “It has been an honor to be part of such a talented group of people who are working to forever change our state’s emergency communications infrastructure.”

Tuesday’s ceremony is being held in the Rayburn House Office Building on Capitol Hill.

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