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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RADO Radio Operator 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 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.
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Prepare and Mobilize

  • Ensure individual readiness.
  • Gather critical information pertinent to the assignment.
  • Travel to and check in at the 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 and communicate the chain of command, reporting procedures, risk management processes, and radio frequency management. 
  • Establish a common operating picture with supervisors and assigned resources.
  • Participate in operational briefings as directed.

Lead, Supervise, Direct

  • 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 Radio Operator-Specific Duties

  • Coordinate obtaining work materials and equipment.
  • Demonstrate competency with communications equipment, procedures, and basic functions/capabilities.
  • Participate in daily Communications Unit briefings and meetings.
  • Provide information on communication issues.
  • Use correct radio/telephone protocols to communicate information effectively to incident personnel.
  • Speak clearly and write legibly when speaking on the radio/telephone and documenting radio/telephone communications.
  • Use standard terminology, symbols, designators, and acronyms.
  • Use appropriate communication protocol when responding to an incident emergency utilizing the Medical Plan (ICS 206 WF).
  • Use appropriate communication protocol when receiving and processing supply orders.
  • Effectively transfer information verbally or in writing.

Communicate and Coordinate

  • Follow established processes and the 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

  • Execute incident emergency plan for radio traffic at the direction of assigned supervisor.
  • 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
  • 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

Demobilize

  • Plan for demobilization. Ensure incident and agency demobilization procedures are followed.
  • Return equipment and supplies to appropriate units. 
  • Complete demobilization checkout process before being released from the incident.
  • Upon demobilization, report status to the home unit including reassignment or estimated time of arrival (ETA) to the home unit.
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Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 
2020-06-11

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