The task force Communications Specialist is responsible for managing the communications system for the task force during incident operations. The Communications Specialist reports directly to the Technical Team Manager.


Description of Duties


The Communications Specialist is responsible for:

  • Participating in the development of the Communications Plan.

  • Assessing overall needs and developing the Task Force Incident Communications Plan.

  • Obtaining frequencies, installation, operation, and maintenance of the task force communications system during incident operations.

  • Coordinating communications with other appropriate entities including the IST Communication Unit Leader.

  • Adhering to all safety procedures.

  • Accountability, maintenance, and minor repairs for all issued equipment.

  • Maintaining appropriate records and reports.

  • Performing additional tasks or duties as assigned during a mission.

  • Maintaining the communications cache in an operational state at all times.

  • Monitoring all task force communications.

  • Developing requests for ordering replacements for consumable items and items lost damaged or destroyed.
Position Requirements and Criteria

Individuals who meet the following requirements and criteria will be eligible to become Communications Specialists in the FEMA US&R Response System. The intent of these requirements is to select personnel capable of managing the communications needs of the task force in the urban disaster environment. The requirements and criteria for the position are identified in the following categories:

Knowledge Skills Abilities

Must have practical knowledge of current telecommunications theory.

  1. Must have a working knowledge of the parameters o f task force communications equipment including:

  • Installation

  • Operation

  • Power requirements

  • Frequency programming

  • Field troubleshooting

  1. Knowledge of incident communications planning and frequency management.

  2. Knowledge of radio protocols and operational discipline.

  3. Knowledge of amateur radio skills and operations, land mobile radio, telephone, and satellite systems.

  4. Must have completed the FEMA Communications Specialist Course.



  1. Ability to work with and effectively communicate within the task force and with other entities regarding communications issues.

  2. Ability to effectively organize and plan during crisis situations.

  3. Have a working knowledge of computers and applications.

  4. Ability to program communications equipment.


  1. Ability to anticipate and plan for task force communications needs.

  2. Ability to instruct task force members in the correct use of communications equipment while deployed in a disaster environment.

  3. Able to work at heights to place antennas, repeaters, etc.

  4. Must be able to communicate effectively orally and in writing.

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