Skip to Content
County Administrator's Office

For Immediate Release

New radio system supports rural communities, county operations in streamlined emergency response and recovery

Santa Rosa, CA | March 28, 2024

The Board of Supervisors today announced the implementation of a new digital mobile radio system and support for a neighborhood effort designed to enhance communication among county officials, community groups and the Department of Public Infrastructure for greater efficiencies during disaster response and recovery.

The Department of Public Infrastructure has partnered with Neighborhood Auxiliary Communications Services to train users and distribute 500 handheld radios, which operate within the General Mobile Radio Service using a network of 14 repeaters that facilitate communications covering approximately 80 percent of the county. The repeaters are also being used by community groups including Citizens Organized to Prepare for Emergencies and Community Emergency Response Teams. To date, county officials have trained more than 200 community members on how to use the radios in the communities of Villa Grande, Hacienda, Monte Rio, Rio Nido, Cloverdale, Occidental and Guerneville.

“We know from experience that communications during natural disasters can be limited, intermittent or cut off completely, especially in rural communities,” said Supervisor David Rabbitt, chair of the Board of the Supervisors. “This new radio system will streamline communication and mitigate safety risks – for first responders trying to call out evacuations, for county road crews working in isolated areas to remove hazard trees and debris, and for our community members who lose water, power and gas and whose safety depends on our ability to respond effectively.”  

The Department of Public Infrastructure also has 85 handheld transceivers and 144 digital mobile radios to enhance staff members’ ability to respond in the field and ensure work safety. The exclusive network relies on nine repeaters installed at Pine Mountain, Moonraker, Meyer’s Grade, Bodega, Mount Barham, Siri Ridge, Mount Jackson, Sleepy Ridge, and Sonoma Mountain. Mobile and handheld radios have been installed on department vehicles and assigned to employees. The Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office coordinated on the installation and programming of the radios, which can be used as individual or group channels, as needed.

The cost of the new communications system is $2.3 million and was funded by a combination of PG&E settlement funds from the 2017 Sonoma Complex fires and county roads funding. For more information about the county’s new digital mobile radios and Neighborhood Auxiliary Communications Services, please contact the Department of Public Infrastructure at (707) 565-2550 or email

Media Contact:

Dan Virkstis, communications specialist