Which of the Following- Best Describes the Operational Period Briefing? Planning Section Chief (PSC) and Incident Commander (IC)
Also known as operations period briefing, operational briefing, or shift briefing, operational period briefing (OPB) is a section-level briefing in which incident action plans (IAPs) for an upcoming operational period are presented to operational supervisors of an incident command system (ICS).
Emergency teams require a highly coordinated approach to handle incidents or events such as fires, shootings, floods, and training exercises. Often, first responders are from different organizations with differentiated roles. Hence, a standard procedure for their coordination to effectively handle emergency scenarios is essential.
One such coordinate procedure is the incident command system (ICS), which was regarded as developed by Fire Chiefs in Southern California to fight wildfires effectively. The key components of an ICS include a unified command system where each person reports to a single supervisor to prevent conflicting orders, a flexible command structure to allow for varying changes in team composition as needed, a unified terminology system to avoid misrepresentations, and the essential incident action plans (IAPs).
Incident Action Plans
Key to the effectiveness of an incident command system in the incident action plans (IAPs), which allow for effective collaboration amongst all personnel towards the actualization of the set goals or objectives during incident handling. IAPs drive a coordinated response and clearly spell out, at the least, what needs to be done in the case of an incident, the personnel responsible for its execution, communication procedures, and the protocols for handling injuries. Often, several standardized forms are employed to effectively document and report incidents. One example is the FEMA ICS 209 form, which is employed in documenting incident summaries.
The Briefing—Operational Period Briefing
Incident action plans for a forthcoming operational period are presented to an incident command system supervisory-level personnel during a section-level meeting or briefing called the operational period briefing (OPB).
A typical OPB is hosted by a Planning Section Chief (PSC), who plans, reviews, and facilitates the briefing agenda. The PSC or an Incident Commander (IC) further presents incident objectives or emphasizes an existing one.
Subsequently, the current or outgoing Operations Section Chief (OSC) notes current assessments and operational achievements. At the same time, the incoming OSC presents the tasks ahead and the staffing and expectations for the incoming operational period.
Other ICS personnel such as Technical Specialists (TSs), Logistics Chief (LC), Safety Chief (SC), Administrative and Finance Chief (AFC), Special Operations Chief (SOC), Public Information Officer (PIO), and Liaison Officer (LO) all deliver briefs regarding their various areas of responsibilities (AoRs), besides.
The Incident Commander gives a further brief on operations, runs through any concerns, and deliberates with supervisors on necessary action lines. The Planning Section Chief brings the briefing to an end with an announcement of the subsequent operational period briefing. OPBs are usually concise, lasting between 20 to 30 minutes.
At the end of the briefing, supervisors meet with the personnel under their commands to intimate them of the incident action plans and their respective roles towards the actualization of the plan’s objectives or goals for the next operational period.
Essentially, an operational period briefing allows for supervisors to receive clear-cut instructions and guidance for onward transmission to their personnel to allow for the effective execution of the components of incident action plans.