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. On what street did the firefighters respond to a large fire in Chapter 5?

2. In Smith's view, what needed to happen before people stopped assaulting firefighters?

3. What happened to several firefighters (including Smith) fighting a blaze at a two-story factory building?

4. How does Smith describe the racial characteristics of Washingtonville?

5. What kind of tool did the firefighters use to break down the door during the Kelly Street fire?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did the firefighters feel about the deaths of the two teenagers in the Intervale Avenue arson fire in Chapter 1?

2. How did the other firefighters look at Artie, the firefighter with the beard and degree in sociology?

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

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

5. Why does Smith say city workers were fleeing cities to live in the suburbs?

6. Why does Dennis Smith think firefighters--although regular people--are nevertheless somehow apart from others?

7. Why did Artie think the 20th century should be called the "Great Zap"?

8. Why were the firefighters remaining at the scene of the fire on Forest Avenue (in Chapter 5) unsure of the names of the injured firemen?

9. What does Dennis Smith think should be done with people who pull malicious false alarms, and why?

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

In Chapter 2, a young boy was injured when a driver known for hot-rodding sped through the neighborhood; the driver was beaten by the gathered crowd before being rescued by police. Smith pointed out that while the boy never cried, the driver was weeping in the police car because he was worried he wouldn't be protected. How did the firefighters react to the man's attitude? In what way is physical pain sometimes easier to handle than mental pain? Does knowing you have been guilty of a crime cause pain? Did the man's crying indicate that he felt remorse for what he had done or was it simply cowardice? Is it ever easy to face up to despicable acts?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

Why was Smith so affected by the interview with the student, Cynthia? Why did his encounter with her leave him feeling both heartened and concerned? Did he ultimately feel uplifted or overwhelmed by what she represented?

(see the answer keys)

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