The Gap

How operational period briefing works

How operational period briefing works

The operational period briefing is a great way to get things started in an organisation. Communication is crucial, especially in handling emergencies, and it is usually resolved during the briefing. Each responder has a different role, including policies and procedures that he or she must follow when working with time constraints.

Am I speaking too much grammar? How about this example? Firefighters usually work under emergency circumstances where a fire incident is reported somewhere. This means the personnel, particularly supervisors, have briefings ahead to know how to respond effectively to emergency fire incidents. It will be catastrophic when an emergency case arises, and nobody knows where to start and who to report to first. Hence, let’s look at the meaning of operational period briefing, the cycle and its importance.

What is an operational period briefing?

What is an operational period briefing?

According to, operational period briefing or operational briefing is a phase that occurs at the beginning of every operational period. It is conducted right before any operation begins. It also represents an Incident Action Plan (IAP) for all the resource supervisors. In other words, only supervisors or resource overseers undergo this briefing before any operations start.

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The operational briefing period includes the timeline, objectives, and resource requirements. During the briefing, resource supervisors or overseers can devise a feasible plan for handling any issue. The main objective is to enable the supervisors to manage sudden challenges and ensure a steady workflow during incident operations.

Operational period briefing cycle

Operational period briefing team

The Operational Period Planning Cycle is the incident’s process to develop the Incident Action Plan (IAP) for the next operational period. Operational period briefings don’t come out of the blues. Some persons determine the success and failure of the briefing. They are the following:

Planning Section Chief (PSC) – Reviews briefing

The Planning Section Chief facilitates the briefing. His or her role includes ensuring that all individuals making the presentation are prepared to do so. The PSC is responsible for ensuring that all aspects of the meeting are addressed. Part of the responsibilities also includes ensuring that the briefing period runs smoothly, conveying all necessary information to relevant individuals, and co-ordinate with other sections to ensure the operation’s smooth running and all resource requirements are met.

Incident Commander (IC) – Presents incident objectives

The Incident Commander or incident manager is a person who is responsible for managing incident response. He or she is the primary point of contact and source of truth for any incident. Responsibilities include quickly developing incident objectives, managing all incident operations, applying resources and being responsible for all persons involved in a certain incident.

Operations Section Chief (OSC) – Assesses current situations

Operations Section Chief reports directly to the Incident Commander. He or she manages incident operations through the operations section. This includes establishing and directing branches, divisions, groups, and units as necessary to support operations. The OSC leads the development and execution of the tactical assignments documented in the IAP. He or she generally works in the Operations functional area.

Technical Specialist – Present updates on considerations affecting response

A Technical Specialist is responsible for analysing and designing network solutions. Responsibilities include providing technical assistance, solving customer service queries, and troubleshooting hardware and software issues.

Safety Officer – Reviews specific risks to operational resources

A safety officer, also known as an occupational health and safety officer, provides safety management, advice, monitoring, and reporting in the workplace. He or she also engages staff in programs that ensure safe practice in the workplace. The safety officer usually reports to the Chief Operations Officer.

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Logistics Section Chief – Develops resource order

The Logistics Section Chief is responsible for providing facilities, services and materials in support of the incident. These include transportation, communications, supplies, equipment maintenance and fueling, food and medical services for incident personnel, and all off-incident resources.

Administration and Finance Section Chief – Provides financial updates

The Administration and Finance Section Chief is responsible for all the incident’s financial, administrative, and cost analysis aspects. He or she supervises members of the Finance/Administration Section and reports to the IC.

Public Information Officer – Discusses information issues

A public information officer is a person who communicates timely information about their organization with members of the public. He or she is an ambassador of the organisation and is required to communicate regularly with the larger outside community. The responsibility includes answering questions from the public and gathering information, doing press releases, hosting special events to promote important holidays and arranging interviews between members of their organization and other stakeholders or groups. Other responsibilities are content strategies for releasing updates, building a healthy relationship with the media and helping management develop a great image of the organisation.

Liaison Officer – Discusses interagency issues

This officer liaises between two or more organisations to communicate and coordinate their activities on a matter of mutual concern. He or she builds and maintains mutually beneficial relationships, facilitates communications and coordinates activities among two or more organisations.  A public relations team member, a liaison officer, streamlines operations and handles public communications, coordination efforts, incident response and conflict resolution.

IC – Closing remark

The IC reiterates operational concerns and directs resources to deploy.

PSC – Announcement

The PSC announces the next planning meeting and operational period briefing. He or she then adjourns the meeting.

Importance of operational period briefing

Importance of operational period briefing

  • It’s an opportunity to present the incident action plan for the upcoming period. It includes communication, medical units, and supporting units.
  • To develop expert knowledge of dealing with complex emergencies.
  • To learn how to monitor all the performances of the subordinate staff.
  • To prepare for unusual emergencies and maintain all the safety precautions.


Operational period briefing happens at the primary phase of every operational period. However, it’s only limited to supervisors or overseers of different departments in an organisation. After the briefing, operations begin, and everyone is expected to carry out what has been agreed to at the briefing. In other words, the operational period brief is a major factor in determining the successful outcome of a mission or an operation.

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Nonye is a Thespian, screenwriter, creative writer and an unapologetic lover of books, great movies and sports. She has over 10 years experience in content writing on entertainment, movies, sports and lifestyle. Nonye is currently a content writer at Blackdot Media and founder of
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