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. succeeding in acquiring our own 501(c)3 non profit status. 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.