LITTLE ROCK, AR - Arkansas is no stranger to disaster. With deadly floods and high-powered tornados, emergency crews need to be well equipped to communicate state-wide in an emergency. That's why agencies from throughout the state are gathering in Little Rock to get on the same frequency.
"Topography is our nightmare," said John Luther, the Emergency Management Director for Washington County. "Up and down. Hills and valleys. Void places. So we're constantly working to add better communications on a day to day basis."
At the 2010 deadly flood at Albert Pike Campground, an AWIN system (arkansas Wireless Information Network) is all that worked.
"There was an off-duty state policeman there," said Arkansas County Judge Glenn Cox. "He had an AWIN radio. He gave the first official contact out of Albert Pike that they needed help."
Every emergency response agency in the state is spending the week learning how to best use the Arkansas Wireless Information Network - enabling them to communicate state-wide.
"I can go to Texarkana, I can go to Jonesboro, I can go to Little Rock and on the AWIN system I can talk to people in those locations there," said Luther.
Agencies are also learning how to use new technology to help officers and firefighters in bad situations, too.
"You get an officer on a domestic or some sort of fight call, he needs back-up," added Luther. "The last thing he needs is not to be heard."
Making it ever more necessary everyone gets on the same wavelength. The conference goes through Friday.