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
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.
To see a list of COMU training courses, to register for a course, or to create a “New User Account”, you will need to go through the Learning Management System (LMS).
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]
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
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).
Appendix A: COMU Position Application
COMU Position Application
Appendix B: Agency Certification
Agency Certification Application
Appendix C: Performance-Proficiency Documentation
Performance and Proficiency Document
Appendix D: Credential Renewal Form
Credential Renewal Form
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: