Ten years ago the nation watched terrified men, women and children run away from the billowing smoke and dust from the Twin Towers.
But some people were running toward it.
First responders came to the realization that more needed to be done for preparation in an extreme emergency.
They say it was difficult to dial into 911 to ask for additional help that day.
Jim Junkins with the Harrisonburg/Rockingham County ECC was an emergency responder at the time. He says help couldn't get there fast enough.
"In hindsight, we were probably a D rating," said Junkins.
At the time, the valley had 3 different dispatch centers and each had its own unique radio frequency.
"The way it was became a problem because we could do it better, and we had to do it better,” said Junkins. “If something even close to that proportion would happen here, we would be just as lost as they were.”
In order to be more prepared, they had to create a new radio system first.
Before 9/11, departments couldn't communicate with each other.
Now, pushing a button puts you in touch with everyone from fire and rescue to the city bus system.
Today, there are 2,200 radios in the city and county.
Junkins says the new system now has allowed them to perform better than they ever have before.
He says it is more efficient and safer.
"I'm going to give us an A-. The only reason I'm saying it's not an A+ is that there's always room for improvement."
Right now, local schools aren't included in that radio system, but they just got the funding to put radios in the schools.
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