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The Montecito Informational AM Radio Network is owned and operated by the Montecito Fire Protection District. The radio was originally purchased with a grant from the Douglas Foundation in early 2008.
The radio transmitter is located at Montecito Fire Protection District Station 1, 595 San Ysidro Road. The antenna is located next to Station 1, on Montecito Water District property.
While you won't find smooth Jazz, or Classic Rock, it is the radio frequency residents can tune to when they need local emergency information. The radio station will provide Montecito residents information about emerging or emanate dangers during wildfires, flash floods, and earthquakes as well as other emergencies. When not broadcasting emergency information, preparedness information is broadcast on a repeating playlist.
The radio station joins the Fire District's emergency notification system, which includes Reverse 911 (Managed by County Sheriff Department), the Montecito Fire Protection District web site, www.Montecitofire.com, NIXLE, the HomeAlert radio system and local media transmissions of the emergency broadcast system.
The AM Radio is a 10 watt, low power transmitter, and allows the Fire District to prerecord messages and quickly create a broadcast for emergencies. Messages can be created and inserted into the broadcast remotely by fire personnel in the field utilizing cell phones or the internet. Montecito dispatchers and other personnel are trained to record messages in the event of an emergency.
Because the radio utilizes a low power transmitter, the ability to receive the transmission will vary based on your location, the radio being used, and the radio's antenna. (It's important to note that most home stereo systems do not have AM antennas attached, and will not receive the transmission.) Your vehicle's AM radio is often the best receiver to use since the low power transmitters were designed for commuter traffic.