Net Controller Sign-up

The current NET Controllers in order of priority:

 

Monday Night:
Jeff (Crest 66) 
Dave (Crest 646)
Doug (Crest 43)

 

Wednesday Night:
Rachael (Crest 623)
Dan (Crest 471)

 

If you are a CREST Member and interested in signing up as a Back-up NET Controller. Please fill out this form. It will be sent to ED (Crest 25), when a Back-up is needed you will be contacted.

Corona Police

Using Communications As A Community Service

You may not know it, but there is always someone watching out for you. Members of a nonprofit group of citizens band radio enthusiasts called Crest Communications keep an eye on the roads and an ear to the radio 24-hours a day. They are on the lookout for people who need help throughout Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties — and beyond.  “We have no boundaries,” said Ed Greany, of Corona, who is president of the group. “We will reach out and touch someone no matter where they are.” Crest is the name of the local team and Communications stands for Radio Emergency Associated Communications Team, a national organization.

The group routinely monitors traffic for law enforcement agencies, helps with community events and, every so often, lends a big hand to police.  That’s what happened on Dec. 15, when some members helped capture three men suspected in the beating of a Moreno Valley man in a road rage incident on North Main Street in Corona. The victim, 30-year-old Jaime Chavez, was knocked under the wheels of a gravel truck and run over.

“Those guys were really the eyes and ears of the Police Department that day,” said Corona police spokesman Sgt. Eddie Garcia. Three men, later identified as Richard Snyder, 28, Patrick Bastiaans, 33, and George Marre, 33, all of Riverside, are awaiting trial on charges of attempted murder and assault. Crest Communications members had spotted three men fleeing and contacted the Corona Police Department.

Despite the praise of the Corona police, Crest Communications members say their actions were only business as usual and only one aspect of what the group does to help the community. The group is headquartered in Corona and Norco but members live throughout Riverside, San Bernardino and Orange counties. It is the largest Communications group in the country, with 144 members.  The second largest is in Dallas County, Texas.

As individuals, Crest Communications members aren’t easy to define, Greany said.   Membership ranges in age from 17 to 70 and includes plumbers, phlebotomists and a retired army general. “Basically, we are trying to find an excuse to play with our radios and be of service to our neighbors,” he said. Communications members say they are often confused with other radio groups such as ham radio operators.

“Some of what we do is similar but (ham radio) is something you do for recreation — we are a service organization,” said Crest Communications member Bob Leef, 70, of Orange. The history of the group dates to the early 1960s when citizens band radios were a rarity and communication between two vehicles was almost nonexistent. The CB signal, a middle frequency FM, was severely limited by topography, making it of little use to travelers until technology started catching up.

It happened in the 1970s, when truckers embraced the radio as a means of communicating with each other. The general public followed and a CB radio craze swept the nation. Greany notes that Communications was there before TV shows like “BJ and the Bear,” which was about a trucker and his chimpanzee who traveled the country with a CB radio. In the late 1970s, the CB Class D frequency lost favor with the introduction of the Class A UHF (Ultra High Frequency) channel. It was called GMRS for General Mobile Radio Service, and most CB enthusiasts use it today. It generally provides a clearer, stronger signal not affected by topography.

With the UHF channel, CB groups such as Communications started specializing in monitoring traffic and relaying the information to law enforcement and safety organizations. The Corona/Norco Communications group was founded in 1977.

In the early 1990s, the members decided to change the name to Crest Communications since membership had grown outside of those cities’ limits and it was easier to distinguish on the radio.

A constant presence, the group did its work for the community daily, and almost unnoticed, until Dec. 15. Late for work that morning, Greany turned on the police scanner in his truck. “I heard this commotion,” he said. “Everyone was going crazy.” The commotion was police searching for the three men who had just attacked Chavez. According to police, the trio had left the scene going east on Grand Boulevard and apparently turned back west on Sixth Street. The initial call had patrol officers looking for them heading east from the scene.

Greany heard the description of the vehicle broadcast and, when he reached Main Street, he looked to his right and saw a truck matching that description stopped next to him at the light. “I only heard the last three digits of the license plate, but when they pulled ahead of me I read the 336” of the plate, he said. “There was my full house.”

The rest of the story came straight out of the Crest Communications training.  Greany radioed another member on the CB and relayed the information on the truck. That member, G.P. Warren, then called the Corona Police Department with the information.

Warren, of Lake Matthew’s, regularly monitors his radio and makes the phone calls for the group. “I’m just a cog in the machine,” he said of his role.

Corona police Detective Anthony Anderson, who was driving to work at the time of the incident, was on Sixth Street when the dispatcher called in the new information.  He got on the freeway, which was moving slowly because of the morning commuter traffic, and began looking for the truck. Anderson entered the Fastrack toll lanes and was able to speed up to about 75 mph while the main traffic was still at a crawl.

He passed the suspects, pulled across the plastic dividers, and worked his way to the right side of the road.

“I waited for them to pass me, then activated my lights and sirens and pulled them over,” Anderson said.

Still on his commute, Greany thought the three had gotten away when Anderson called in the arrest on the scanner. “That guy (Anderson) really popped out of nowhere,” Greany said. “He was a guardian angel.”

Normally, things aren’t so dramatic. Members call in traffic problems and accidents to a regional radio station network to help commuters through the morning snarl.

The group also works with the Corona Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department to help out with events. Members assist police with crowd control and security for events such as the Run for the Crown run each May and the Fourth of July fireworks show at Corona High School.

“The group has been working with the city since 1991 on the events,” said Rick Thompson, recreation supervisor for the Corona parks department.  The Crest Communications members provide communications for the events as well as security and directing traffic. “There aren’t a lot of organizations out there that have that kind of technical training to do these things,” Thompson said.

 

Published 2-14-99

iu-55

Crest Members Visit Kings County Communications – Team #4965

It had been planned long in advance (ok, well, at least one or two days!!) that my wife, Hiroko and I would visit with them.  After all, we were going to visit Sequoia National Park, and we were originally going to take our travel trailer up and park it at LeMoore Naval Air Station while in that area.  But, it didn’t work out that way.

Just before leaving, the database program at Hiroko’s company decided it wanted to interrupt our vacation plans.  Hiroko had to work one extra day (of course, one of our vacation days), so we “modified” our trip just a little.  We had to leave one day later than originally planned.  To adjust, we cancelled the “take the travel trailer” plans and instead drove the car, staying at the Navy Lodge aboard LeMoore.  Once we drove up to LeMoore, however, got our base pass, and  checked into our rooms at the Navy Lodge, we made the phone call.

[ Ervin Family Communications ]
The call was to Kurt Ervin, President of local Communications Team 4965 –  Kings County Communications.  Kurt, like many of the Kings County Communications team, are members of the military and stationed aboard LeMoore.  So we were right “in their back yard” so to speak.

Of course, Kurt and I had set up this meeting in advance.  Once Hiroko and I had made our travel plans, I contacted Kurt and asked him only one question:  “Do you like pizza?”  When Kurt said “yes” (the “correct answer), we set up plans for us to meet each other at one of their “local” pizza places.  So, the phone call quickly put our “plan into motion.”

Shortly before 19:00 (that’s 7:00 p.m.), Kurt and his wife drove up in their official Communications patrol vehicle (actually, it their personal car).  It was a beautiful day, just the kind of day you want when you’re meeting another Communications team, and Hiroko and I followed them to the “Me & Ed’s” – one of the local “hot spots” nearby.

While we were traveling, Hiroko took out her camera and started “clicking” as we drove.  Kurt is not only the President of the team, he’s a really dedicated Communicationser.  He promotes Communications in a really “big” way … just try following him sometime!!

As we drove, the simplex channel was kept busy as we talked back and forth to each other.  The amazing thing about talking while you’re driving is that the time passes by quickly.  And that’s important when you’re driving near LeMoore, because there is “almost nothing but farmland” as you drive mile after mile!!

[ The Pizza Meeting ]
We pulled into the parking lot and went inside.  Kurt advised via radio that we “had arrived” and were ready to eat.  As some of the team’s members started arriving, we sat down for an incredible feast — “magic juice” and pizza.  Some of you reading this may be familiar with it …. it’s a golden color, tastes really good, especially when it’s very cold!!  If you look at the picture, you can probably tell that we’re not drinking cough syrup!!

This is really one busy team!!  Hiroko and I learned they are very active with local Search and Rescue events, and the team recently completed the requirements for CERT (Community Emergency Response Teams) certification.  They practice and train, and it was obvious they are proud of their achievements.

Two hours later, full of pizza and that “magic juice” stuff, several of the team members said they had to “call it a night” and get ready for work tomorrow.  That’s can sometimes a problem when you’re on vacation, with no responsibilities, no great urgency to get anything done, sitting there enjoying someone’s company and somebody in this group that you’ve just met for the first time boldly stands up without shame or fear and says, “I gotta go.”

This time, however, we understood.  It was a working night for these folks, and since they weren’t on vacation (actually, we planned on getting up early the next morning to get into Sequoia at first daylight!!), we agreed with them and started our “good bye” ceremony!

As we finished the last bit of food and drink, we took one more picture and then called it an evening.  It was truly our pleasure to meet those who could attend and finally be able to “put a face with a name” of Communicationsers we’ve written to many times after originally meeting on the Communications-L (newsgroup).

We offer our sincerest thanks to the members of Kings County Communications Team 4965.  We enjoyed meeting with them, and hope we can meet them again soon.

Weekly Nets

Monday Night

Time: 800pm

Receive: 462.675 Mhz (GMRS)

Transmit: 467.675 Mhz

Encode/Decode Tone: 141.3

CREST Communications holds a “Monday Night Net “at 2000 hours from the Santiago Repeater, which is located atop of Santiago Peak at 5687 ft. in the Santa Ana Mountains of the Cleveland National Forest. The coverage includes, but is not limited to, parts of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Los Angeles Counties.

The purpose of this Net is to provide information related to CREST Communications activity and to inspire interest in GMRS operation in the Greater Los Angele area. All licensed GMRS operators are encouraged to join our Net. You do not have to be a member of CREST Communications to check in.

This is a controlled net and all contact should be made through Net Control.

“You do not have to be a member of CREST Communications to check in” but you do have to have an FCC GMRS license.

If you have an announcement for the Monday Night Net, please submit that information here Submit Announcement.

Wednesday Night

Time: 800pm

Receive: 462.675 Mhz (GMRS)

Transmit: 467.675 Mhz

Encode/Decode Tone: 146.2

CREST Communications holds a “Wednesday Night Net “at 2000 hours from the Santiago Repeater, which is located atop of Santiago Peak at 5687 ft. in the Santa Ana Mountains of the Cleveland National Forest.

The coverage includes, but is not limited to, parts of Orange, Riverside, San Bernardino, San Diego and Los Angeles Counties.

The purpose of this Net is to provide information related to CREST Communications activity and provide training.

All licensed GMRS operators are encouraged to join our Net. You do not have to be a member of CREST Communications to check in.

This is a controlled net and all contact should be made through Net Control.

“You do not have to be a member of CREST Communications to check in” but you do have to have an FCC GMRS license.

If you have an announcement for the Wednesday Night Net, please submit that information here  Submit Announcement.

History of Crest Communications

BY Ed Greany (Crest 25)

The primary founder was a person who left the first year leaving it to about a dozen guys in 1978. I was one of them as was Bob Leef (SK). We originally agreed not to have any member unit numbers from 1 to 9. The teens would be for our Junior members and the regular status members would start with unit 20. That’s why I am #25 (Ed Greany).

 

When we started getting Family members we assigned them the same unit number as their spouse but with a 1 in front (25 and 125). When a Junior member reached 18 they would have a 2 added to their unit (10 would be 210). Mike is the only person to reach this plateau.

 

We had a relationship with the Norco Mounted Police and put up a repeater just for them on Beacon Hill in Norco. They were 300 series members. Once they received their official sheriff papers they began using the sheriff’s repeater and no longer needed our repeater nor membership. When we reached unit 99 we began using the 400 series then 500 and 600 series.

 

We were originally the Corona-Norco REACT Team, a member of REACT International, Inc. REACT is an international organization utilizing CB radio for monitoring and assisting the public. After many years we decided to change our name to CREST REACT. Several years ago we dropped our affiliation with REACT and became CREST Communications, Inc.

 

 We also acquired our own public liability insurance and enhancing our GMRS system. Many members of CREST are also amateur radio operators (Hams).Our membership has had ups and downs. At one time we had several hundred members. We concentrate on members who want to participate in our activities and show an interest rather a directory of names on a list like a telephone book. For this reason, we require each member of CREST to participate in a minimum of two team events per year.

 

At one time, we used the Santiago Peak repeater in two ways. The 141.3Hz tone was for official business of CREST team members and the 146.2Hz tone was for subscribed paying Personal Users. Eventually we opened the Personal Use with no fee. We only had a few personal users at that time. In 2021, things changed. We now have over 150 non-paying Personal users and about 75 CREST members.

 

We have had excellent relationships with the American Red Cross, the City of Corona Parks & Recreation, Norco Citizens Patrol, Freeway Traffic Patrol, KABC radio station, the CHP and more.