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Saturday, January 19 , 2019, 11:40 pm | Fair 51º


Retired Montecito Fire Board Director Roland Jensen Passes Away

Roland "Roy" Jensen

It is with great sadness, and heavy hearts, that the Montecito Fire Protection District reports the passing of former director Roland J. Jensen.

“Roy” had been a resident of Montecito since 1930. He was appointed to the position of Deacon at El Montecito Presbyterian Church, and served in the army for two years before being hired as a firefighter for the Montecito Fire Protection District, MFPD, in 1952. 

Roy left MFPD in August of 1958. Several years later, Roy purchased the Montecito Chevron Station on East Valley Road, where he interacted regularly with members of the community.

In 1975, Roy continued serving the community when he was appointed to the MFPD Board of Directors. He served on the MFPD Board continuously for the next 39 years, retiring in December 2014.

During his tenure, the Fire District Board kept the district financially healthy through local disasters including the floods of 1995, the Sycamore Canyon Fire, Tea Fire and Jesusita Fire. 

In 1993, the Board of Directors established MFPD’s Paramedic program, which greatly increased the level of service provided to the community. Roy was a strong supporter of the Montecito Emergency Response and Recovery Action Group (MERRAG) which is the community emergency volunteer organization.

MERRAG was established by the Fire District in cooperation with the Montecito Water District and the Montecito Sanitary District in 1987. 

Also during his tenure, the board relocated its headquarters station to 595 San Ysidro Rd. in 1991, rebuilt Station 2 in 2003, and in 2004 the district began setting aside the necessary funding to purchase the land and construct a third station in the east end of the district.

In 2009, he and the Board of Directors began working diligently to reduce its unfunded liabilities for its post retirement benefits by establishing an irrevocable trust with PARS to prefund future post employment benefit programs.

Roy was deeply committed to serving his community, his church and his family. Roy will be deeply missed.

He was preceded in death by his wife Gibby Jensen. Roy is survived by his four daughters Kristi McLoughlin (Jeff), Kerri Hedden (Don), Kelli Nunn (Stan), and Kim Bumen (Kevin). 

A memorial service will be announced later this week.

— Geri Ventura is the public information officer for the Montecito Fire Protection District


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