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 three jobs did the nuns at Smith's school tell the students they could aspire to?

2. Why did George say firefighters will never realize they are being duped?

3. Why did it take the firemen longer than usual to reach the large fire on Intervale Avenue in Chapter 10?

4. How many stitches did Fireman Billy-o get in Chapter 7?

5. Why were the firefighters frustrated about budget issues?

Short Essay Questions

1. What was Smith's attitude toward the man hanging around at the Union Avenue fire in Chapter 10? How did he feel about the man screaming that the firemen were not taking fire victims to the hospital because they didn't care about black people?

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

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

4. In what way can the training firemen undergo never be completely sufficient?

5. How did Dennis Smith feel as a child when the welfare inspector visited his family?

6. Did Smith feel that the rich New Yorkers mentioned in Chapter 7, who were raising money to bail out Black Panthers, had any real understanding of need?

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

8. Describe the character of Lieutenant Collins.

9. In what key way does Smith say the modern firefighting exams are different from those of the past?

10. How did contemplating the changing seasons make it easier for Smith to deal with the dangers of his job?

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

"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?

Essay Topic 3

Smith describes his reasons for living outside of the community in which he served. Do you think it is necessary for civil servants to live in the communities for which they work? Would Smith have been any more effective if he had lived in the South Bronx? Or, did his decision to seek a quieter life for his family make it easier for him to serve a needy community? In what ways could living amongst the people you serve make you a better servant? Do communities have a responsibility to make it easier for civil servants to live locally by, for instance, ensuring affordable housing?

(see the answer keys)

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