The operational period briefing is a meeting that presents an incident action plan to supervisors within the operations section. It also allows for the coordination of resources and a clear understanding of the incident.
This article will explore the purpose, structure, and best practices of an operational period briefing. It is a crucial tool that promotes clear communication and coordinated actions during a response.
1. It is a meeting
The operational period briefing (OPB) is a critical part of incident management. It promotes clear communication and coordination of resources during a crisis. It also helps ensure that all parties involved are working towards the same goal: resolving the situation safely and effectively.
The OPB is typically conducted on a shift basis and involves the Incident Commander, the Command and General Staff, and appropriate agency representatives.
It provides an opportunity for key personnel to update each other on the incident status, communicate any new information or updates, and determine the next steps in the IAP.
The IC or PSC generally presents the IAP for the next operational period during the OPB. This includes the strategy, general tactics, and major assignments for the upcoming time frame.
The PSC may also discuss current assessments and the IC can reiterate any issues that need to be emphasized. The OPB is often facilitated by the Planning Section Chief who prepares and facilitates the meeting.
2. It is a time frame
The operational period briefing presents the Incident Action Plan for an upcoming period to supervisory personnel within the incident management system.
This is a key tool to ensure the success of an incident by clearly communicating critical information and enabling all assets to manage the situation.
The ICS response manager presents the IAP, which includes a strategy and tactics for managing an incident in a 12- to 24-hour time frame. The presentation highlights tasks, assignments, priorities, and safety considerations. It also notes resources and expectations for the upcoming period.
The briefing may discuss emerging issues, but not debate choices made in the planning process or undertake extensive problem-solving.
These topics are more appropriate for resource-level briefings. A defined briefing process is important to impose discipline and manage time constraints, distractions, and questions. For example, it is not the time to introduce new procedures or review information previously disseminated to the public.
3. It is a process
The operational period briefing (OPB) is a process in incident management that provides situational awareness and enables a clear understanding of responsibilities among incident personnel.
It is usually conducted at the start of every operational period and led by the Incident Commander or designated operations staff.
OPBs can be a great tool for communicating critical information and mobilizing resources during emergency response.
Best practices for OPBs include using a structured format, emphasizing safety, providing opportunities for questions, and keeping the briefing short.
Additionally, OPBs can be a good way to communicate important information to all incident responders. This can include updates on the current status of the incident, objectives and priorities for the upcoming operational period, and resource allocations.
OPBs should also include a brief review of previous actions and lessons learned. Additionally, OPBs should include a discussion of community concerns and needs. This can help to build trust and ensure that all responders are aware of their role in the incident.
4. It is a tool
The operational period briefing, also known as a shift briefing or an OPB, is a tool that is used to communicate critical information, mobilize resources, and coordinate actions during a crisis.
A well-executed OPB promotes clear communication and ensures that everyone is working toward the same goal, which is to resolve the incident safely and quickly.
The primary purpose of an OPB is to present the incident action plan (IAP) for the upcoming operational period to ICS supervisory-level personnel.
The OPB also provides a forum for supervisors to raise emergent issues and discuss possible alternatives to the IAP, but it is not a place to debate choices made in the planning process or to engage in extensive problem-solving.
The IC and the PSC should be careful not to use the OPB as an opportunity to deviate from the IAP.