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. Why was Dennis upset about the visit from the welfare inspector?

2. What was the name of the young prostitute who lived in the neighborhood served by Engine Co. 82?

3. Why was Smith upset about the path Tina de Vega took in life?

4. What ethnic group was now predominate in the formerly Irish neighborhood in which Smith grew up?

5. How much did the air pack weigh that Fireman Bill Kelsey put on his back while responding to the Southern Boulevard fire call in Chapter 8?

Short Essay Questions

1. How did the elementary student, Cynthia, approach her interview with Smith in Chapter 9?

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

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

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

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

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

7. 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?

8. How did the firefighters react to the call in Chapter 7 in which they tended to a man who almost overdosed on drugs?

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. 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?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

There were several incidents in the book in which firefighters were attacked by the very neighbors they were trying to help. The book took place at a time in which young people were questioning all authority, especially that of police. Why were firefighters seen as authority figures not to be trusted? Did Smith view this as a logical view of firemen or as a confusing result of desperate poverty?

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

The firefighters of Engine Co. 82 made several efforts to connect with the neighborhood children, for example, through ice cream parties. Do these sorts of community outreach projects ultimately help the community and if so, how? How can seeing authority figures "at ease" and off the job help children see them as non-threatening? Smith at one point expresses dismay that firefighters willing to to crawl through a fire to rescue one black child will share ice cream with 100 black children. In what ways do these community outreach projects help firefighters themselves? Do they normally get the chance to see people at their best? Can getting to know the neighbors outside of emergency calls help firefighters develop a deeper and more satisfying relationship with their community?

(see the answer keys)

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