S-358, Communications Unit Leader, 2008

S-358 Decorative banner: Three wildland fire photos of radio communication operations. A technician checks a radio at the dispatch center. A radio technician checks a radio in an incident command tent. A technician checks boxes of radio equipment in a command tent on an incident.

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This course is designed to provide skills and knowledge needed to perform in the role of Communications Unit Leader (COML). Topics include mobilization, establishing the communications unit, communications system design and ordering, communications system installation and maintenance, communications equipment assignment and accountability, incident communications center, internal and external coordination, demobilization, and current communications issues and technology.


  • Identify the functions of the communications unit and the duties and responsibilities of the Communications Unit Leader.
  • Arrive at the incident properly equipped, gather information to assess the assignment, and begin initial planning activities of a Communications Unit Leader.
  • Plan, staff, manage, and demobilize the communications unit in a safe and effective manner to meet the needs of the incident.
  • Coordinate with incident sections, appropriate communications, and other agencies and personnel to assist in accomplishing the overall incident objectives.
  • Design, order, and ensure the installation and maintenance of all communications systems to support the incident.
  • Maintain accountability of assigned communications equipment.

Target Group

Personnel desiring to be qualified as Communications Unit Leader (COML).


S-358 is available as classroom instructor-led training.

Course Components and Hours to Complete

Course ComponentCourse Time
Pre-course workN/A
Pre-selection assessmentN/A
Online trainingN/A
Instructor-led training24
Total Hours24

Session Offerings

Nationally advertised course sessions can be found by searching for s-358 on the National Wildland Fire Training website. Contact your local Training Officer for more information about local course sessions.

Prerequisite Qualifications and Training

Qualified as Incident Communications Technician (COMT), and as Incident Communications Center Manager (INCM).

Course Level

Regional, state, or area

Associated Position Task Books

Facilities Unit Leader, Communications Unit Leader, Food Unit Leader, Ground Support Unit Leader, Medical Unit Leader, Supply Unit Leader (PMS 311-34)


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