Denver apartment fire video and more consideration.
Note: The video below is not intended to be specifically critiqued, but to offer a mental picture for you as you consider more about this tactic.
Another video catches the eye and the honest question, "can transitional attack work here?' comes to mind, not because it cannot be determined personally, but because the classical culture divide seems to not be able to. Past posts here, "Reader Definitions of Transitional Attack" and seen on other sites and forums only offer slight concensus on practical application; when staffing is low and when the interior line is making only slow progress or none at all.
So why the divide when it is first mentioned? Why is it considered a poor tactic if it is not endorsed by chiefs from large urban departments? In their own right, it is a poor initial tactic to use when you arrive bringing four engines, three ladders and a rescue company with all their staffing and a clear, unobstructed path to the fire room. Unfortunately much of the country doesn't bring this massive first alarm response. Would it work here, in Prince George's County? Honestly it would depend on where in the county the fire is and the staffing in that area. I wouldn't expect it in the inside Beltway battalions. Out past Upper Marlboro, past Croom, down near Charles County? I'd at least consider it, especially if the first engine is arriving with just the Technician and the Officer.
So why turn your nose to a tactic that could work? What would you do if your assumed routine single-story private dwelling fire turned out to be a pack-rat job where you were not going in even 1-inch past the front door? Would you still be slugging away at it, climbing over mounds of junk all because an urban boss said transitional attack wouldn't work in his area?
You can't call a time out on the fireground. But you can keep an open mind and bring all your options with you to the fight. So, again we ask you, how do you define "transitional attack"? Is it a tactical tool available if your "routine" fire attack hits a wall? Is it an offensive move you and your driver can use while you wait for the other department's volunteers to respond to the station and get the engine/tankers on the road?
Or is it a weak, cowardly move that says you have no balls when it comes to being an "aggressive firefighter"?
Bill Carey is the daily news and blog manager for Elsevier Public Safety (FireRescue Magazine/Firefighter Nation, JEMS and LawOfficer sites.) Bill also manages the FireEMSBlogs.com network and is a former volunteer lieutenant with the Hyattsville Volunteer Fire Department in Prince George's County, Maryland.
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