ICS Staff Briefing Tip Sheet

For use when operations chiefs and operations branch directors meet

Overview and Purpose

  • Ops briefings are short, regularly scheduled meetings to share information which is related to ongoing operational needs and risks. Ops briefings serve to raise Collective Situational Awareness among the operations staff and to share operational needs, risks, and objectives.
  • Operations briefings should:
    • Focus on identifying the current and developing status of incident objectives.
      • Green – Objective met or will be met within the operational reporting period.
      • Yellow – Objective at-risk of not being met within the operational reporting period,
        may take additional resources or time (What Planning and Logistics support is
        needed to complete the objective?)
      • Red – Objective will not likely be met within the operational reporting period.
        (Report the impact this may have on Operations, Planning, Logistics).
    • Consider “negative reporting” – report only those issues which are:
      • Unforeseen – New development, change in operational status:
        • Did this create an unanticipated Operational Demand? (Planning did not see it).
        • Did this create an unanticipated Logistical Demand (Logistics not prepared for it).
      • Operational Objectives that are still:
        • Status “Red”
        • Status “Yellow”
      • Include a member of the planning team and logistics team to ensure information on developing issues is readily transmitted back to those teams.
      • Share information concisely.
        • EACH MEMBER – Use a Checklist – See Examples
      • Standardize your Terms – Taxonomy:
        • Use ICS terms and position titles to avoid confusion. Remember, People will likely rotate in
          and out of positions.
      • Be strongly facilitated:
        • Leader determines the flow
      • Set time after briefing for:
        • Team problem-solving
Report Flow for Operations:
  • Operations chief opens meeting –
    • Opening: “This is the 16:30 operational briefing for the Corona virus response. Please pay close attention and listen carefully to each other to reduce the chance of error. This is a team. If you do not understand something or do not agree with a proposed strategy or action, please speak up. If you are not clear on your objectives, please see me right after the meeting. The meeting will now start…”
    • Safety briefing – Any critical updates affecting Team Safety? (1 min)
    • Report on the most recent status of the Incident Action Plan and Primary Objectives ( 2-5 min)
    • Branch directors report – use negative reporting:
      • Red
      • Yellow
      • Unforeseen
      • Logistical, Operational, and/or Planning Resources Needed
    • Operations unit leaders report if needed or asked.
    • Logistics and planning representatives – Any questions?
    • Burning issues:
      • Anything we did not cover that needs a brief mention?
    • Communications plan
      • “Does everyone understand how to connect with each other and the team leaders? If not, please stay for a moment after the briefing.”
    • Next meeting/briefing:
      • State time for next general meeting (ICS section chiefs) and ops briefing.