Southwest Emergency Dispatch Center
Strongsville is proud to host the Southwest Emergency Dispatch Center (SWEDC), a state-of-the-art 911 emergency operations center that offers advanced equipment and expert dispatching services to the region.
Emergency Alerts & Apps
Always dial 911 if you have an emergency. If you notice flashing lights at our main intersections, this is an emergency broadcast. Please tune your radio to 1640 AM, our local station, to hear the emergency news. We've also compiled a list of Emergency App & Systems to keep you and you family as safe as possible.
SWEDC Loans Three Dispatchers to COVID-Ravaged U.S. Virgin Islands
Three dispatchers from Southwest Emergency Dispatch Center are back from two weeks in the U.S. Virgin Islands, but they aren’t sporting tans or talking about spending time on the beach.
Instead, they spent the two weeks working 12-hour shifts on St. Thomas and St. Croix, where the coronavirus had infected 93 percent of 911 operators, leaving both islands desperate for help.
“Both centers were decimated by COVID,” said Erin Iorillo, a dispatch supervisor for SWEDC who answered the call for aid. “They were really struggling.”
The trip was originated by the federal Emergency Management Agency and organized locally by Chagrin Valley Dispatch, another regional dispatch center headquartered in Bedford, which got wind of the situation and was able to free up seven telecommunicators for the journey. They asked members of SWEDC, which is based in Strongsville, to join them, and three employees volunteered.
Iorillo and dispatchers Becky Naymik and Christine Eddy only had about four days to prepare before the trip, which ran Jan. 4-19.
“None of us could have done this without the support of our families,” Iorillo said.
The islands were so short-staffed that the few healthy employees literally locked themselves in over the holidays, eating, showering and sleeping at the dispatch center.
That meant the 10-member team from Ohio was plunged into their new jobs with no time for training.
“It was pretty much, ‘here’s how you answer the phone’ and that was it,” Iorillo said.
Read the full story here.
Kelly Kelly is Dispatcher of the Year
Kelly Kelly, a dispatcher with Southwest Emergency Dispatch since 2017, has been named Dispatcher of the Year by the Knights of Columbus St. Francis of Assisi Council.
Kelly, who started her career with the city of Brook Park in 1999, was nominated for the award because sheis "a true team player. From constantly picking up open shifts to doing entry work to helping fellow dispatchers," Kelly is always doing something positive, her nominating letter says.
In early 2022, Kelly handled a 911 call from a woman whos former boyfriend broke into the house and shot her and her baby. Kelly kept the woman on the phone, talking and gathering information to direct responding offeicers to locate the shooter, who was still in the house, and to make the scene safe for responding EMS units. "Kelly performed her duties brilliantly," the nomination says. Her skills, knowkedge, willingness to help others and dediation to the profession make her the 2022 Dispatcher of the Year.
Angela Love Named Dispatcher of the Year for 2020
Angela Love has been named dispatcher of the year for 2020 by the St. Francis of Assisi Council of the Knights of Columbus.
Love, who joined Southwest Emergency Dispatch Center in 2018, brought with her “a vast amount of experience, a jaw-dropping work ethic and a wonderfully sunny disposition,” her nominating letter says.
Love is always willing to help, from answering someone else’s radio during a busy time to offering to switch shifts to help out a coworker. She never complains and often volunteers to do extra jobs, always with a smile.
“When Angela is at work, you know that the atmosphere will be lighter and happier just by her presence. In a career where you can experience so much darkness, she is a bright spot.”
Nicole Adams-Marcum is Dispatcher of the Year
Nicole Adams-Marcum has been named dispatcher of the year for 2019 by the St. Francis of Assisi Council of the Knights of Columbus.
Nicole, who returned to Southwest Emergency Dispatch in a part-time capacity in 2015 after a hiatus, has been a reliable, competent dispatcher, according to her nomination. Her supervisors say she keeps her skills sharp and is a quick learner. She is empathetic with citizens and uses all means necessary to ensure quality service.
In December, she aswered a 911 call where her training came into play in a life-saving way. A local business call to say a worker had gotten a cord from his hoodie caught in a machine and it was strangling him. He man was not conscious or breathing when co-workers called for help. Nicole instructed those on the scene to start CPR while paramedics were enroute, and encouraged them to continue even through they insisted it sounded like the victim was "snoring." Nicole knew that meant the patient was not breathing properly and still required CPR. She gently insisted they keep up with CPR until a paramedic arrived. Because ot that, the patient made a full recovery.
Her supervisors said Nicole takes on extra work when asked and is a team player. She is an asset to her shift and to Southwest Emergency Dispatch.
Ashley Flynn Named Dispatcher of the Year
Ashley Flynn has been recognized by the St. Francis of Assisi Council of the Knights of Columbus as the Dispatcher of the Year for 2018..
Her supervisors at Southwest Emergency Dispatch Center said Ashley works to the highest of her abilities and "unfailingly demonstrates professionalism in her approach to her duties." She is alway willing to assist a fellow dispatcher and often volunteers to work last-minute shifts when someone else calls in sick.
On her own, she put together a fire reference book to assist dispatchers with understanding and navigating through new fire protocols.
When Ashley discovers issues, she makes sure SWEDC management is aware of them. "She is always cheerful, and you canexpect she will keep the room lighthearted through the night shift," her nomination letter says. "She is a valuable and much-appreciated asset to our Southwest Emergency Dispatch team."
Fields is Dispatcher of the Year
Kami Fields has been named 2017 Dispatcher of the Year by the St. Francis of Assisi Council of the Knights of Columbus.
Her supervisors at the Southwest Emergency Dispatch Center said Fields, who has 17 years of experience as a dispatcher, has outstanding research skills, an ability to think outside the box and a 'never give up' attitude.
"Kami has also selflessly given of her time to train future dispatchers. She has an easy-going manner and patience, as well as positivity. She realizes that training quality dispatchers is key to the success of our consolidated dispatch center. And when training is done, she continues to mentor our newer dispatchers, making sure she is passing her knowledge on.
"Dispatching is very stressful work, but she comes to work always ready for the challenge. She also doesn’t just bring problems to management, but will have a ready answer on how to solve them."
Dispatchers, Police, Firemedics Honored for Saving Life
Strongsville Fire and Emergency Services, Strongsville Police and the Southwest Emergency Dispatch Center were recognized by MetroHealth Medical Center for excellence in emergency medical services for saving the life of a Strongsville resident in April 2015.
The Strongsville team was among nine recognized May 17 by Metro, whose emergency room handles about 100,000 visits a year.
The Dispatch Center received a 911 call about 6:45 p.m. April 19, 2015 about a man trapped under his SUV after it fell off the jack. Dispatchers Diane Williams and Erin Iorillo gathered pertinent details, dispatched both police and fire departments, and updated the responding crews with vital information.
Police patrolmen Shamus Kelly and Zaki Hazou, who arrived first, were able to jack up the car and remove the victim. They assessed his vital signs and, finding none, began CPR.
Fire Lt. Gregg Samoly and firemedics Allen Miller and Mike Macejko arrived within four minutes of being dispatched, performed a trauma assessment and initiated advanced medical procedures. They took the patient directly to MetroHealth Medical Center, a level one trauma center, where the patient spent a few days before being released without any significant deficits.
"This was a team effort, and any misstep within the 'chain of survival' would have most likely had a tragic outcome," Fire Chief Jack Draves said. "These men and women are most appropriately being recognized for a job well done."