Public Information / External Affairs training programs are those courses that address the needs of state and local officials assigned to duties related to the dissemination of public warning and information services. This includes the establishment and execution of Joint Information System / Joint Information Center operations.
Incident Command System training programs are those courses that address the needs of state and local officials assigned to duties related to the Command and Control elements of the National Incident Management System (NIMS). This includes assistance provided to support ICS Position Specific Training courses conducted by the designated Incident Management Teams (IMTs) within the Commonwealth.
Incident Communications training programs are those courses that address the needs of state and local officials assigned to duties related to the functional incident management roles of Communications Unit Leader (COM-L) and Communications Technician (COM-T).
A COML is defined by DHS as a person that plans and manages the technical and operational aspects of the communications function during an all-hazards incident or event. A COML plays a critical role within the National Incident Management System (NIMS).
An All-Hazards COML program provides the Commonwealth of Virginia approved NIMS compliant instruction to train emergency responders on how to serve as Communications Unit Leaders during emergency operations. The COML training program qualifies emergency responders to lead Incident Command System (ICS) communication units. In order to obtain a COML credential, an individual must: Meet the prerequisites, complete the formal COML classroom training, and complete the comprehensive position-specific All-Hazards COML task book. All tasks must be signed off on by a certified COML. The completed packet will then undergo an administrative check, completed by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) Office of Training and Exercise (OTE). Once the packet has been checked by VDEM OTE it will be sent to the Virginia Emergency Operation Center (VEOC) Interoperability Coordinator for an additional review. Following approval from the VEOC Interoperability Coordinator the COML packet will be delivered to the Statewide Interoperability Coordinator (SWIC) for final qualification. After a candidate has qualified as a COML, they will receive a Personal Identification Verification- Interoperability (PIV-I) Credential.
Components of the COML Qualification Program
The COML Qualification Program is targeted to local, regional, and state cross-disciplinary emergency response professionals and individuals who serve in coordination or support capacities within the communication arena as defined within the ICS structure. This includes but is not limited to:
- Communication and radio managers
- Law enforcement personnel
- Fire department staff
In accordance with Virginia’s established All-Hazards COML Qualification Program, in order to be recognized as a Virginia COML, individuals must meet the following criteria defined below:
- All-Hazards COML Training Course
- All-Hazards COML Task Book
- Virginia COML Credential: Qualification and Requalification
Candidates must possess the following minimum prerequisites in order to attend a COML training course:
- A public safety communications background with exposure to field operations. This experience should be validated by the authority who supervised the applicant.
- Fundamental public safety communications technology, supervisory, and personnel management These skills include, but are not limited to:
- Knowledge of local communications and communications system
- Knowledge of frequencies and spectrum
- Knowledge of technologies
- Knowledge of local topography
- Knowledge of system site locations
- Knowledge of local, regional, and state communications plans
- Knowledge of local and regional Tactical Interoperable Communications Plans, if available
- Knowledge of communications and resource contacts
- Completion of the following training courses:
- ICS-100: ICS-100 introduces the ICS; provides the foundation for more advanced ICS training; describes ICS’s history, features, principles, and organizational structure; and explains the relationship between ICS and NIMS.
- ICS-200: ICS-200 provides training on, and resources for, personnel who are likely to assume a supervisory position within ICS.
- ICS-300: ICS-300 provides training on, and resources for, personnel who are required to implement advanced application of the ICS.
- ICS-700: ICS-700 explains the purpose, principles, key components, and benefits of NIMS. The course also contains Planning Activity screens, allowing participants to complete planning tasks during this course.
- ICS-800b: ICS-800b introduces participants to concepts and principles of the National Response Framework.
All-Hazards COML Training Course: The All-Hazards COML training course provides the specific knowledge and skills required to perform the tasks identified in the COML task book. This course provides a direct link between training and job performance.