The Stow Communications Center is under the direction of Ginger Hatfield and is staffed by fourteen (14) full-time and five (5) part-time telecommunicators (also known as Dispatchers), who are certified by the National Academy of Emergency Medical Dispatch. Emergency services dispatchers are a dedicated team with a very demanding job. The members of the Communications Center must function effectively in some of the most chaotic circumstances in an emergency and are the first link between the citizens and the safety forces of the City of Stow. They are also the first line of defense for the responding safety forces, twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. All 9-1-1 emergency calls, all non-emergency calls, and most administrative calls are received through the Communications Center. The Stow Communications Center serves Stow Police and Fire/EMS, Tallmadge Police and Fire/EMS, Mogadore Police and Fire/EMS and Randolph Township Fire/EMS.
The Communications Center disseminates highly sensitive, confidential information to the police from the Ohio Law Enforcement Administrative Data Systems (LEADS) and the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). Mobile Data Terminals (MDT) provide a direct link to the officers with up to date, pertinent information regarding Amber Alerts, Homeland Security and Terrorism, as well as, warrant information, offender criminal history, driving/licensing records and stolen items. Dispatchers are qualified to administer lifesaving techniques via the telephone prior to EMS arrival and required to maintain their LEADS/NCIC and EMD certifications biannually.
Dispatchers also provide many non-emergency services for the community. They become the after hours answering point for many other city departments including (but not limited to) Water, Street, Urban Forestry, Parks & Recreation and Animal Control. Residents who have lost or found a pet may report it to the Communications Center. The Communications Center maintains contact information on businesses in the event that contact needs to be made during non-business hours. The dispatchers monitor the RUOK program which calls participating residents each day during specific hours to monitor their personal welfare. If the participant fails to respond to the phone call, a police officer is sent to their home to establish his or her welfare.
The Communications Center averages 500 phone calls per day or over 15,000 calls per month. These calls are requests for service not only of Stow, Tallmadge, Mogadore and Randolph but all other non-emergency, administrative and general question calls. In regards to 9-1-1 calls, the Stow dispatchers answer an average of 40,105 cellular and landline 9-1-1 calls per year or an average of 109 calls per day. Additionally, the Communications Center enters approximately 164 incidents and miscellaneous details per day into our CAD (Computer Automated Data System) for all dispatched entities.