Overview

The Communications Unit (COMU), a role within the Logistics Section of the Incident Command System (ICS), is designed to support the operable and interoperable communications needs for planned events, unplanned events, and exercises.

Key positions operating in this unit are as follows:

  • Communications Unit Leader (COML)
  • Incident Communications Center Manager (INCM)
  • Communications Technician (COMT)
  • Incident Tactical Dispatcher (INTD)
  • Radio Operator (RADO)
  • Auxiliary Communications (AUXCOMM)
  • IT Service Unit Leader (ITSL)

These positions are a valuable resource and should be utilized whenever possible during both the pre-planning and response to planned events, unplanned events, and exercises.

Training and Exercises

Training

To facilitate the implementation and use of the COMU positions, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency – Emergency Communications Division (CISA-ECD) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) developed the national curriculum for training and performance standards for all COMU positions. The Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications (OIEC) schedules, coordinates and conducts all communications training courses.

 

Exercises

OIEC also administers the communications exercises, which provides an opportunity for COMU trainees to perform various tasks required to obtain credentialing in the respective positions.

For information on upcoming COMU training and/or exercise schedule, contact the Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications at 518-322-4911 or email [email protected]

 

learning management system (LMS)

 

Visit the DHSES Learning Management System (LMS) website to view the current available training and exercise offerings. This website allows authorized users to register for courses administered by NYS DHSES.

Individuals who are not authorized users must complete the New User Request WebForm for an account to be created.   Individuals needing person record updates must complete the Update User Personal Information WebForm.  The WebForms are located in the Resources section on the website.

 

NYS DHSES-OIEC Calendar of Events 

Event/OfferingEvent Date(s)LocationRegistration Dates in the DHSES LMS
Communications Unit Exercise (COMMEX)5/21/24-5/24/24SPTC02/21/2024 - 05/07/2024
State Sponsored (SS) Communications Unit Leader (COML)6/24/24 – 6/28/24SPTC3/27/2024 - 6/11/2024
Regional Incident Tactical Dispatcher (INTD) for Dutchess County9/16/24 – 9/19/24Dutchess County6/18/2024 - 9/5/2024
Communications Unit Technician Train-the-Trainer (COMT T-t-T) Course10/7/24 – 10/11/24SPTCInvitation Only
Position Task Book (PTB) Day for Dutchess County10/16/2024Dutchess County7/18/2024 - 10/2/2024
Incident Communications Center Manager (INCM) Course10/28/24 – 11/1/24SPTC7/30/2024 - 10/18/2024
Regional State Sponsored (SS) Communications Unit Technician (COMT) Course11/4/24 – 11/8/24SPTC8/6/2024 - 10/25/2024
COMU Program Instructor Meeting and Exercise12/10/24 – 12/11/24SPTCInvitation Only

Credentialing Policy

Position Specific Credentialing

New York State has long recognized the importance of establishing, maintaining, and coordinating technical communications and establishing the key positions and roles to ensure that adequate communication plans are developed, implemented, and maintained during planned and unplanned events, and exercises.  Unfortunately, the use of the formal Communications Unit (COMU) positions, established in the Incident Command System (ICS), to manage the numerous technologies, networks, and disparate radio systems, has been lacking.

To help close this capability gap, CISA-ECD in partnership with FEMA, developed a nationwide performance and training standard and comprehensive training courses for all COMU positions.

Under the direction of the Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC), New York State adopted these standards and incorporated them into the COMU, Position-Specific Credentialing Policy.  This policy provides the framework to establish formally trained, qualified, and recognized individuals that will perform the COMU roles.

The importance of this policy was recognized and approved by the Statewide Interoperable and Emergency Communication Board (SIEC Board) and the establishment and use of the COMU functions has also been identified as a priority objective in the New York – Statewide Communications Interoperability Plan (SCIP).

The policy requires seven (7) essential steps to achieve credentialing.  Once credentialing has been issued, the individuals will be recognized by NYS in the COMU position for a three (3) year period. 

Please see the COMU Credentialing Policy and additional documents needed for credentialing below.

Any questions regarding the policy should be directed to the Office of Interoperable and Emergency Communications (OIEC) at [email protected] or 518-322-4911.

COMU Credentialing Policy

Documents for COMU Credentialing in NYS

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    Communications Unit (COMU) Credentialing Policy

    Establishes the credentialing policy for the All Hazards Communications Unit (COMU) positions; Communications Unit Leader (COML), Communications Technician (COMT), Incident Communications Center Manager (INCM), Incident Tactical Dispatcher (INTD), Radio Operator (RADO), Auxiliary Communications (AUXCOMM), and IT Service Unit Leader (ITSL).

     

    Download

Communications Assets Survey and Mapping Tool (CASM)

The Communications Assets Survey and Mapping (CASM) Tool provides New York Public Safety Officials with a means to gather and analyze communications systems data to identify gaps in interoperability and to improve emergency response communications.

CASM is a web based application that emergency response agencies can use to enter and visually display data about their public safety communications assets and how those assets are used.

Requests for any additional information or request for CASM access for agencies and entities in New York State must be directed to the following contact at DHSES OIEC: [email protected]

If you already have a login please click on the button below:

CASM