The operational period brief (OPB) is critical to any incident management operation. It is a communication tool to ensure all personnel are informed and prepared for the day’s activities. But who is responsible for facilitating this vital briefing? In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the various roles and responsibilities of those promoting the OPB.
The incident commander (IC) is ultimately responsible for the overall management of the incident. As such, they may choose to facilitate the OPB themselves or delegate the responsibility to another qualified individual. When the IC enables the OPB, they can provide a high-level overview of the incident, discuss the current situation, and outline the objectives for the day. This approach can be convenient when the IC has a strong rapport with the personnel involved in the operation.
Operations Section Chief
The operations section chief (OSC) is responsible for the planning and execution of tactical operations. They may also facilitate the OPB, mainly if the IC is unavailable or has delegated the responsibility. The OSC can provide a detailed briefing on the operational objectives for the day, discuss any changes to the incident action plan, and provide guidance on specific tasks or assignments. This approach can be efficient when multiple operational branches are involved in the incident.
Planning Section Chief
The planning section chief (PSC) is responsible for collecting, analyzing, and disseminating information related to the incident. They may also facilitate the OPB, mainly if the IC or OSC is unavailable or has delegated the responsibility. The PSC can provide a detailed briefing on the current status of the incident, any changes to the situation or objectives, and any resource or logistical considerations. This approach can be convenient when significant changes to the incident or complex logistical requirements exist.
The safety officer (SO) is responsible for monitoring and assessing safety hazards and risks associated with the incident. While the SO may not typically facilitate the OPB, they may be called upon to provide a safety briefing or update during the OPB. This can include any significant safety concerns or hazards and any changes to the safety plan or procedures. This approach can be convenient when substantial safety considerations or modifications to the safety plan exist.
In conclusion, the operational period brief is critical to any incident management operation. The responsibility for facilitating the OPB may fall to various individuals, including the incident commander, operations section chief, planning section chief, or safety officer. Each of these roles brings unique perspectives and expertise to the briefing, and the choice of facilitator will depend on the specific needs and requirements of the incident. By understanding the roles and responsibilities of those who facilitate the OPB, incident management personnel can ensure that this critical communication tool is used effectively to support safe and efficient operations.