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. What did the kids across the street from the Union Avenue fire do when the firefighters arrived?

2. What did the three men sitting on Charlotte Street do when they saw the kid pull the false alarm in Chapter 3?

3. Why did the John Birch Society want a local teacher in Washingtonville fired?

4. How did Smith view the firefighters he wrote about in the book compared to firefighters across the country?

5. Where on his body did Fireman Bill Kelsey get burned while battling the Charlotte Street blaze?

Short Essay Questions

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

2. What is Smith's view of the political leaders of New York City?

3. Why did some of the men defend Chief Marks despite the fact that he was known for yelling at the firefighters?

4. Why does Smith tell his mother that he feels compelled to continue working in the dangerous South Bronx neighborhood?

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

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

7. What did the firemen do when they got the second teenager out of the Intervale Avenue apartment building, which was torched in the arson attack in Chapter 1?

8. How did Smith's mother's attitude toward work reflect an old-fashioned way of viewing labor in New York City?

9. How was Firefighter Mike Carr killed?

10. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

Smith discussed the need for the firefighters to pay for much of the equipment and supplies they needed for their jobs. Why do you think New York was reluctant to provide sufficient provisions for fire departments? How did the firefighters view this lack of support and what would they have liked to do about it?

(see the answer keys)

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