Transitional Attack: When to Use It

Issue 10 and Volume 167.

BY SCOTT JOERGER To make an argument for using transitional attack as a tactic, it is first important to understand what it is. Textbooks, Internet articles, publications, and fire service leaders give different definitions and opinions for this strategy, but the tactics for this strategy have always been around. Harold Richman explains it in Engine Company Fireground Operations–Second Edition (1986): The normal quick interior attack should be made on those buildings which are in use and especially those that are occupied at the time of the fire. However, even in this case, if a large intense fire is encountered, it may be necessary to knock down or control [it] from the outside, if possible, using solid streams, before total interior attack can be made.1 William E. Clark states the following in Firefighting Principles & Practices-Second Edition (1991): When a fire has extended to the next building before arrival of the…

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