Documentation Unit Leader

DOCL decorative banner: photos depicting DOCL position. DOCL Position Description: The Documentation Unit Leader (DOCL) is responsible for maintaining accurate and complete incident files, providing duplication services to incident personnel, and packing and storing incident files.

docl Homepage Button Position Incident Position Description Button Position Reference Materials Button Position Qualification Requirements Button

DOCL Incident Position Description

The Documentation Unit Leader (DOCL) is responsible for ensuring incident files are maintained, complete, and up-to-date in accordance with NWCG standards and agency policy. The DOCL reports to the Planning Section Chief (PSC) and works in the Planning functional area.
Click here to comment on this IPD

Prepare and Mobilize

  • Ensure individual readiness.
  • Obtain and assemble information and materials needed for kit (reference Documentation Unit Leader Job Aid, J-342).
  • Gather critical information relevant to the assignment.
  • Travel to and check in at the assignment.
  • Obtain briefing, objectives, and intent from supervisor.

Build The Team

  • Identify and anticipate staffing needs and request additional resources and/or replacements as needed.
  • Assess experience level of assigned personnel and discuss performance capabilities and any limitations.

Lead, Supervise, Direct

  • Model leadership values and principles. Provide positive influence. Emphasize teamwork.
  • Establish and communicate objectives, priorities, work assignments, and performance expectations.
  • Identify, analyze, and use relevant situational information to make informed decisions and take appropriate actions.
  • Adjust actions based on changing information and evolving situation awareness. Communicate changing conditions to incident supervisor.
  • Ensure daily objectives and performance standards are met.
  • Monitor performance and provide immediate and regular feedback to assigned personnel.
  • Establish and maintain positive interpersonal and interagency working relationships.

Perform Documentation Unit Leader-Specific Duties

  • Obtain and assemble information and materials needed for documentation unit.
  • Organize and supervise unit.
  • Establish and organize incident files as per approved file structure standard format.
  • Provide duplication, collation, and scanning services or arrange for such services.
  • Coordinate and order essential equipment for the unit and coordinate maintenance and release of equipment.
  • Provide support in preparation of Incident Action Plan (IAP).
  • Establish/maintain checklist of all incident functions to assure timely inclusion of documentation for final package.
  • Assist other units in the Planning section to meet priorities and timeframes.
  • Record minutes at meetings as directed by incident supervisor for inclusion in final package.
  • Complete Activity Log (ICS 214) for each operational period for the duration of the assignment.
  • Produce final documentation package in approved format and assure host agency receives package.

Communicate and Coordinate

  • Brief assigned personnel and provide regular updates as necessary.
  • Attend and participate in incident briefings and meetings as directed.
  • Brief incident supervisor on current problems and recommendations, outstanding issues, and any follow-up actions.
  • Establish communications and exchange necessary information with other units/sections and incident agency personnel.

Manage Risk

  • Account for the location, health, safety, and welfare of assigned personnel.
  • Report all accidents or injuries to incident supervisor.
  • Ensure compliance with all safety practices and procedures for yourself and those around you.



  • Coordinate an efficient transfer of the position duties and complete the transition document or the closeout report for the Documentation Unit at the end of the assignment. Outline any issues, or any unresolved items.
  • Anticipate demobilization, identify excess resources, and coordinate with incident supervisor to prepare the demobilization schedule. Brief subordinate staff on the demobilization procedures and responsibilities.
  • Complete the demobilization checkout process before being released from the incident.
  • Upon demobilization, report your status to your home unit, including a reassignment or the estimated time of arrival (ETA) to your home unit.


Return to the top



Page Last Modified / Reviewed: 

Please Provide Feedback

NWCG values your constructive input and we thank you for taking the time to provide feedback.

Although contact information is optional, we hope that you provide a way for us to contact you in case we need clarification on your comment. If you would like to be contacted regarding your feedback, you must provide contact information. 

Due to recent hacking behavior, we are temporarily suspending our ability to upload documents.  If you need to attach additional information, please email the file to

This question is for testing whether or not you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.