Report from Engine Co. 82 Short Essay - Answer Key

Dennis Smith (firefighter)
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1. How did Dennis Smith get started on writing Report From Engine Co. 82?

Dennis Smith wrote a letter about Irish poet William Butler Years to the New York Times Book Review. The well-written letter caught the eye of an editor of True magazine and Smith was then asked to write a slice-of-life article about firefighters. Eventually, he chose to expand the story into a full-length book.

2. What was Dennis Smith's main concern about writing about his fellow firefighters?

Dennis Smith was concerned that he was not up to the task of writing about these heroic men. He worried that they deserved a truly great writer like Tolstoy or Crane and that he might not do them justice.

3. Why, according to Dennis Smith, were so many false alarms were pulled in the South Bronx?

The South Bronx was one of the poorest and most crime-ridden areas in the entire country. Dennis Smith believed that the lawlessness and ignorance that pervaded the neighborhood contributed to a tendency to pull false alarms, especially among neglected children eager for some attention and excitement.

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