National Wildfire Coordinating Group

Radio Operator

RADO decorative banner: photos depicting RADO position. RADO Position Description: The Radio Operator (RADO) works in the Communications Unit, under the Logistics Section. The immediate supervisor for the Radio Operator is the Incident Communications Center Manager who manages the Incident Communications Center (ICC). In the absence of an Incident Communications Center Manager, the Communications Unit Leader will supervise the Radio Operator position. The Communications Technician also works in the Communications Unit. Often the Communications Technician requests assistance from the Radio Operator to help clone and check out radios.

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The Radio Operator (RADO) is responsible for receiving and transmitting radio and telephone messages between incident personnel, providing dispatch services at the incident, and documenting pertinent radio/phone traffic for the incident. The RADO reports to the Incident Communications Center Manager (INCM) or the Communications Unit Leader (COML) and works in the Logistics functional area.

The Forest Service and Department of Interior are enabled by Administratively Determined Pay Plans (AD Pay Plans) to hire persons for temporary duration for the following reasons:

  1. To cope with a sudden and unexpected emergency caused by a fire, or extreme fire potential, flood, storm, or any other all-hazard emergency that threatens damage to federally protected property, has the potential to cause loss of life, serious injury, public health risk, or damage to natural or cultural resources unless brought under immediate control.
  2. To provide emergency assistance to States under formalized agreements.
  3. To meet mission assignments issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) Incident Business Committee (IBC) reviews positions annually and establishes pay rate classifications for each position.

For more information on the AD Pay Plans, go to

Apr 2021

Added: Incident Position Description (IPD) approved.

Oct 2019

Added:  Annual Fireline Safety Refresher (RT-130) to Required Training.

Mar 1999

Position created.


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