Report from Engine Co. 82 Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

Dennis Smith (firefighter)
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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. Which captain entered the Kelly Street apartment first?

2. What happened to the fireman who was injured while responding to a call in Chapter 4?

3. What board game were the firemen playing in Chapter 3?

4. Why did the men take turns manning the hose while battling the apartment building fire in Chapter 5?

5. What happened to Capt. Frimes at the Kelly Street fire?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why do firemen have to sometimes crawl on their bellies while in a burning building?

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

3. Why do you think Dennis Smith found the act of writing the book as exciting as responding to fire calls?

4. In what ways does Smith view the old-style machine politics as preferable to the current system?

5. What did Dennis Smith observe about the attitude of the driver who hit the young boy and was then beaten by the crowd in Chapter 2?

6. What did Katherine Anne Porter mean by "a book will find its author" and how did that apply to Dennis Smith?

7. How does the fire department announce the death of a fellow firefighter in the line of duty?

8. Describe Fireman Jim Gintel's personality.

9. Explain why the landlord of the Intervale Avenue apartment building wanted the place torched.

10. How did the attack on Firefighter Nick Riso (a brick was thrown at him in Chapter 3) make Smith feel?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Firefighters work long shifts that require them to both sleep and eat meals at the station. How does Smith demonstrate that this enforced closeness with fellow firefighters encourages a sense of brotherhood? Did the cooking and sharing of meals among the men of Engine Co. 82 foster a unique relationship that was missing in other professions? Is there a unique value in seeing your fellow firefighters at their best and their worst (i.e., grumpy before morning coffee, poor hygiene, an issue Smith addresses in the book) throughout the day? Does this help explain the fierce loyalty described by Smith?

Essay Topic 2

Some of the South Bronx children, including Tina de Vega, occasionally visited Engine Co. 82 when they were younger. Why do you think these children made these visits to talk to Smith and the other firemen? Were they simply bored? Were they looking for some sort of adult guidance? Were they reaching out to the adult world?

Essay Topic 3

"Report From Engine Co. 82" was the first full-length book providing ordinary citizens with a glimpse into the insular world of firemen, and it became a runaway bestseller. Smith speaks of being thrilled about the opportunity to share his life with ordinary citizens. Why do you think the book proved so popular? Were people hungry for information about the lives of people they only saw during times of crisis? Do you think the book changed any opinions about the work firefighters do?

(see the answer keys)

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