Incident Command System Communications

incident-commandCommunications is an inseparable component of modern command and control systems. In the United States, the Incident Command System (ICS) has evolved during the past 35 years from its military roots to serve domestic emergency response needs, including communications. 

Today, ICS provides a rich set of tools for managing human and technological resources to ensure effective and efficient management of emergencies of all scales. 

Unfortunately, as we have often seen, communications and command failures are intertwined. Structured, consistent means of managing communications resources are necessary, particularly during incidents involving multiple agencies. 

ICS establishes basic principles, practical tools, and a definitive structure for supporting communications needs during emergency response. 

SEARCH is experienced in providing support to public safety agencies in ICS best practices, particularly as they related to the Communications Unit (COMU).

  • We have developed a suite of ICS COMU program development guides and resources.
  • We have led the development of curriculum and facilitated workshops for public safety agencies on interoperable communications and ICS topics, including Communications Unit Leader (COML), Communications Technician (COMT), Communications Unit Strategy Planning and Policy development, COMU integration into National Incident Management System (NIMS)/ICS, and more.
  • In addition, our staff has experience as practitioners across all of the emergency communications disciplines. We have managed communications centers, implemented Radio-CAD-Mobile Data systems, directed large interoperability projects, and worked in the 9-1-1 field. We sit on a supporting committee for the Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, and other policymaking groups.

Call on SEARCH when you need assistance, training or information on ICS communications.

Additional Resources

Download and use these SEARCH documents:

Listen to this SEARCH podcast:

Visit our Public Safety & Emergency Communications training page for information on the instructor-led and self-paced training available to you, including “The COMU Overview”