During an emergency there may be a failure of the telephone systems. Rapid and accurate communications are vital in providing prompt rescue response for emergency situations. No communications medium fills the "rapid" part of that order as well as radio. The "accurate" portion of the equation is the responsibility of well trained and experienced radio operators. MERRAG provides the Montecito community with both.
MERRAG has a substantial UHF radio system that reaches throughout Montecito. This system is further enhanced by a radio "repeater." The MERRAG repeater is located high on a Montecito hilltop that has a clear view of our entire area. All MERRAG radio communications are relayed through this repeater so that no communications are lost. MERRAG radio carriers are always able to be in touch with emergency service providers.
The radio system has units both at the Fire Department and in the MERRAG mobile communications vehicle. Including the Fire District, Water District and Sanitary District, over thirty five Montecito institutions and homeowner groups are equipped with MERRAG these radios. In the event of an emergency this system swings into action.
Institutions and homeowner groups can report their individual situations to MERRAG in the Disaster Operations Center (DOC) and MERRAG documents the report and takes the appropriate response. The message is either presented directly to the Fire District's dispatch or, in the case of non-life-threatening situations, MERRAG personnel may intervene to remedy the situation. The presence of MERRAG volunteers permits the Fire District to concentrate their personnel on the most serious situations.
The MERRAG radio carrier volunteers are trained in the accurate transmission and receipt of radio messages. The MERRAG radio system is regularly tested to be certain that it will perform as required in an emergency.
The approximate MERRAG radio locations are depicted above. If you don’t see a star by your neighborhood, commit to the monthly radio call-out (4th Thursdays at 2pm except when you’re out of town) and ask to get trained and provisioned.