Report from Engine Co. 82 Test | Final 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 newspaper article say a firefighter rescued following a rubbish fire?

2. Why was Smith concerned about striking for better working conditions?

3. Why were merchants good to firefighters (i.e., by giving them discounts) under the old system?

4. How were most people escaping from the blaze on Intervale Avenue in Chapter 10?

5. While responding to an apartment fire on Simpson Street in Chapter 7, what did the firefighters see two teenagers carrying down the stairs?

Short Essay Questions

1. Why did Smith view being a firemen as a sign of success when he was a child?

2. What did Smith find most frustrating about the attack on the firefighters (the dropped garbage can) in Chapter 8?

3. Why did Smith think it was useless to argue with the sneering youths hanging around a fireman's car in Chapter 10?

4. Despite the death of the baby in the last fire in the book, Smith was more committed than ever to remaining a firefighter. What did he see at that fire that reinforced his tremendous loyalty to his fellow firemen?

5. Why does Smith suggest that perhaps even with guidance, South Bronx resident Tina de Vega may still have ended up on drugs and prostituting herself?

6. Describe the character of Lieutenant Collins.

7. Why were some of the firefighters unwilling to help out at the department's occasional parties for neighborhood kids?

8. Why had the system of safety inspections changed so radically?

9. How did Smith convince himself of the need to respond to all calls when he found himself getting fed up with the arson incidents?

10. What were Smith's initial views of firefighting before he joined the department?

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

Abject poverty is a recurrent theme in Report From Engine Co. 82. In what ways does Smith think that poverty leads to an increase in crime and fire incidents in the South Bronx? Discuss how feelings of desperation Smith describes can break apart families and contribute to an ongoing cycle of poverty and lawlessness.

Essay Topic 3

Smith met numerous neighborhood children during his years of service--some of them eventually fell prey to the streets, while for others, the future was not yet known. Does Smith feel that society at large can help to ensure that neglected children in poor neighborhoods do not fall victim to the violence and depression around them? What does he believe is society's role in reaching out to needy children who are being ignored by the families?

(see the answer keys)

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