Incident Communications Technician

COMT decorative banner: photos depicting COMT position. COMT Position Description: The Incident Communications Technician (COMT) works under the direction of the Communication Unit Leader and is responsible for installing, maintaining, and tracking communications equipment.

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COMT Incident Communications Technician Incident Position Description

NOTE: This Incident Position Description (IPD) is under development. Learn more about IPDs and other NWCG improvement efforts on our Systems Improvement Page. Please contribute to this effort by providing feedback via the Comment button on this page.

 

The Incident Communications Technician (COMT) is responsible for the installation and maintenance of communications equipment on wildland fire incidents. The COMT reports to the Communications Unit Leader (COML) in the Logistics functional area.
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Prepare and Mobilize

  • Ensure individual readiness.
  • Gather critical information pertinent to the assignment.
  • Travel to and check in at assignment.
  • Check in with the incident supervisor and/or dispatch when arriving at the incident.
  • Review Incident Action Plan (IAP) and obtain briefing, objectives, and intent
    from supervisor.
  • Obtain briefing from the previous shift/assignment position, as necessary.

Build the Team

  • Establish a common operating picture with supervisors and assigned resources.
  • Participate in operational briefings as directed.

Lead, Supervise, Direct

  • Model leadership values and principles. Provide a positive influence. Emphasize teamwork.
  • Establish and communicate objectives, priorities, work assignments, and performance expectations.
  • Identify, analyze, and use relevant situational information to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions.
  • Adjust actions based on changing information and evolving situation awareness.  Develop and implement contingency plans. Communicate changing conditions to assigned resources and supervisor.
  • Ensure incident objectives and performance standards are met.

Perform Incident Communications Technician-Specific Duties

  • Assist Communications Unit Leader in designing communication system to meet incident operational needs.
  • Gather cost information for additional communication equipment needs. Order additional communications vendor services (e.g., telephone, satellite communication, microwave, etc.).
  • Identify locations for equipment to be installed (e.g., repeaters, telephone lines).
  • Represent Communications Unit Leader as needed.
  • Initiate and maintain accurate records of communications equipment.
  • Establish an accountability system for issuing and returning radios and other communications equipment.
  • Transfer geographic locations of communications equipment to local maps.
  • Recover and account for communications equipment.
  • Identify and prioritize incoming information and determine an appropriate response.  
  • Identify and convey any operational restrictions to the Incident Communications Center Manager (INCM).
  • Establish installation priorities while adhering to safety standards regarding communications.
  • Determine an appropriate location for communications equipment and coordinate with local communication technician, agency, and/or personnel.
  • Install communication equipment at determined locations.
  • Coordinate the transportation of equipment and personnel.
  • Provide incident personnel with appropriate equipment based on the Incident Radio Communications Plan (ICS 205).
  • Identify types and quantity of communications equipment based on the IAP or other relevant plans.  
  • Ensure personnel can operate assigned equipment.
  • Test components of communications equipment to ensure the incident’s systems are operational.
  • Clone and/or program radios for the incident.
  • Perform an operational test of communications systems throughout duration of the incident.
  • Accomplish minor field repair of incident communication equipment.
  • Place orders for the replacement of incident communication equipment.  
  • Plan for battery replacement of incident communication equipment.
  • Ensure interruptions in system operations are minimized throughout the incident.
  • Provide communications support for data operations and imagery.

Communicate and Coordinate

  • Follow established processes and chain of command for collecting, producing, and distributing information. 
  • Ensure a clear understanding of expectations and timely communication within and across ICS functional areas and chain of command.
  • Establish communications and exchange necessary briefings/information with the following:
    • Support resources
    • Adjacent resources
    • Supervisor
    • Other ICS functional areas
  • Communicate effectively using multichannel radios. Prepare and program radios for assignment. Use plain language and ICS terminology.
  • Conduct and/or participate in After Action Reviews (AAR).

Manage Risk

  • Apply the Risk Management Process as stated in the Incident Response Pocket Guide (IRPG) PMS 461:
    • Identify Hazards
    • Assess Hazards
    • Develop Controls and Make Risk Decisions
    • Implement Controls
    • Supervise and Evaluate
  • Utilize Safety Officers to assist with the risk management process and provide input into the safety of operations.
  • Plan for medical emergencies. Ensure assigned resources are prepared to execute the Medical Plan (ICS 206 WF). Ensure familiarity with medical responders, communication procedures, and the transportation plan. Manage the medical emergency based on procedures stated in the IAP, Medical Incident Report, or other relevant guidelines.
  • Monitor for signs and symptoms of fatigue, illness, or injury. Mitigate appropriately.
  • Account for location, health, safety, and welfare of assigned personnel.
  • Submit accident/incident reports with pertinent forms (SAFECOM, SAFENET, agency-specific forms) through the established chain of command.

Document

  • Complete, authorize, ensure timeliness of, and route as required:

Demobilize

  • Plan for demobilization. Brief assigned resources on demobilization procedures and responsibilities. Ensure incident and agency demobilization procedures are followed.
  • Prepare plan for the demobilization of communication resources in conjunction with Communications Unit Leader or immediate supervisor.
  • Provide a list of total weight, number of pieces, total cubic feet, and final destination of equipment being demobilized.
  • Brief assigned resources on demobilization procedures and responsibilities. Ensure incident and agency demobilization procedures and work/rest driving standards are followed.
  • Return equipment and supplies to appropriate units. 
  • Complete demobilization checkout process before being released from the incident.
  • Upon demobilization, report status to home unit including reassignment or estimated time of arrival (ETA) to home unit.
  • Anticipate demobilization, identify excess resources, coordinate with operations to prepare demobilization schedule, and communicate with supervisor.
  • During the transfer of command:
    • Ensure continuity of operations.
    • Exchange critical safety information.
    • Communicate transfer of authority through the established chain of command.

 

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Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
2020-06-11

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