An Introduction to….. Tactical Communications Teams

“Practical Tactical”
An Introduction to…..
Tactical Communications Teams
Presented by,
Brad Reinert & Matt Markland
Montgomery County Tactical Communications Team
• This presentation is meant to give you a
basic understanding of what a Tactical
Communications team is and how to
interface it with the daily operation of the
Communications Center as well as provide
a basic insight into the requirements
needed to form and implement a
successful team.
What is a Tactical Communcations Team?
• A group of specially trained
telecommunicators that operate at local
scenes of fires, police incidents, MCI’s, or
pre-planned events that require the
operation of a command post or that would
otherwise strain the capabilities of the
communications center.
What is the practical definition?
• The team will be defined by your agencies
needs and must be tailored to the
requirements of the responders you serve
and the type of incidents they respond to.
TCT Purpose
• Manage Verbal and written communications at
the Incident Command Post. Handle all
communications in and out of the command post
via radio, landline, cell phone, computer, or other
• In addition the TCT can provide assistance in a
support role to the IC in recording and
administrative functions.
Getting Started!
• In order to launch a successful Tactical
Communications Team or TCT you will
need the support of your agency
managers as well as the “buy-in” of the
Chiefs, SWAT Commanders, Elected
officials and Emergency Management
personnel of those jurisdictions you cover.
Getting Started!
Determine the needs of your agency
Will a TCT positively affect your operations
How will you select your team
Team size and structure
What type of training will you provide
Operating costs and budget
Equipment needed
Your Needs
• Determine on what type of incidents your team will respond
to and when.
• Multi Alarm Fires
• SWAT Callouts
• Pre-Planned events such as Carnivals, Parades, PR
Events and Bike races
• Medical Facility Infrastructure Failures
• Police Incidents (ex; Searches, Criminal investigations)
• Other incidents at the IC’s request
• At the request of the Communications Center???
How will the TCT affect your Operation?
• While a core goal of the TCT is providing
support to the Responders, you must not
forget how the implementation will affect
the operation of your Communications
Center. When the team is deployed
properly the goal is to reduce the strain on
your operation caused by the incident or
How will you select your team?
• Member selection is one of the most important processes in starting
a team.
Candidates should be strong telecommunicators
Must be able to multi task and perform well in fluid environments
Should be able to commit to responses in their “off-duty” times
Must hold your agencies goals and beliefs in high regard
Should be able to function with little supervision
Requirements of drivers (EVOC, CDL, Clean driving record)
Maintain an “above average” evaluation rating
Field experience a PLUS but not needed
Ability to perform multiple functions within your center
How will you select your team?
• Some agencies choose their members utilizing a
detailed internal application and interview
processes, while others find that it works better
to “hand pick” telecommunicators based on
every day observations of their supervisors and
managers. The selection path you chose should
suit your agency and should be flexible enough
to change as your team evolves.
Team Size and Structure
• The size and complexity of your team will vary greatly
depending on the needs of your agency.
• How many personnel does your center have
• Number of people needed for an average call-out
• How many people do you need to adequately serve your
planned operations.
• How many people can you afford to train and outfit
• Start small and add if needed
• Constantly re-evaluate Staffing
Team Size and Structure
• Your team should have a well defined structure for use
during incidents as well as every day operations of the
• Team Coordinator, Group Leaders, Telecommunicators,
Probationary TCT’s
• How in depth your structure is will be dependant on how
large or small your team is.
• Consider on-call schedules when forming your structure
• Determine what specialized training your agency will
require your TCT members to have.
• Basic/Advanced Tactical dispatch/Incident dispatch
• Training with agencies your team will work with
• Tabletop and simulated incidents
• “on the job” training or mentoring
• Use networking and the internet as a tool to research
new training.
Operating Costs/Budget
• Factors to consider
• Uniforms
• Training
• On-Call Pay
• Overtime element for responses
• Radios
• “Go-Bags”
• Vehicles and associated maintenance
• Specialized equipment (Interoperability gateways)
• Computers, Aircards and CAD interfaces
• The equipment your team has will depend on your budget
and the individual needs of your team, some examples are;
• Radios for team members
• Stationary items for Drawings/Charts
• Communications Vehicles
• “Go-Bags”
• Specialized equipment (Interoperability gateways)
• Computers, Aircards and CAD interfaces
• Cell Phones
• Vehicle selection will be based on your agencies needs
and budget.
• Examples of “communications vehicles” can range from
a SUV to a tractor trailer
• When designing a vehicle it is best to involve the people who will
be using the vehicle.
• Considerations
• Size of the vehicle
• Type of equipment the vehicle needs to contain
• CDL?
• Can your members drive the vehicle
• Number of positions
• Conference area
• COST!!!!!
• REMEMBER – You do not need a “Communications Vehicle” to
have an effective TCT!!!!!
Form A Plan
• When proposing the idea of forming a team it is
important that you formulate a plan. This should be one
that can be presented to the managers of your center as
well as the field providers that your agency works with.
• Be ready to explain what the team is and how it would
benefit all involved parties, it is important not to forget
any costs associated and who would be responsible for
those costs.
• Start SMALL and be flexible.
FINALLY,…..Sell Your Idea
• Organizing and forming your team are only the start. Be
prepared to “Sell” your concept to the responders that
your agency serves.
• Chiefs Meetings/Seminars
• Appearances at Company Trainings
• 911 Center Tours
• Brochures
• Newsletters
• Invite “them” to your trainings
• Drills
• Pre-Planned Events
Contact Information
Brad Reinert
Tactical Team Coordinator
Matt Markland
Tactical Team Group Leader