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. Who was temporarily in charge while Captain Albergray was on vacation in Chapter 10?

2. Why did the city fence off the empty lots near the fire station?

3. Approximately how many children were at the ice cream party in Chapter 9?

4. Why was Pat, Dennis' wife, willing to accept his remaining in a dangerous profession?

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

Short Essay Questions

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

2. Is the poverty seen by Dennis Smith in the South Bronx different than the poverty in which he grew up?

3. 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?

4. Did Smith's wife appreciate her husband's devotion to his job?

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

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

7. Does Smith feel that society has become more violent over the years, and if so, why?

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

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

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

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

Smith continued to work in the South Bronx despite the dangers and despite the fact that moving to another neighborhood would still allow him to serve as a firefighter, but in a safer environment. What compels some people to risk their lives for little or nothing in return? Are some people born with a unique sense of compassion and generosity or can this be cultivated in anyone? What kind of intangible rewards did Smith get from serving the South Bronx that he may not have gotten from serving, say, the Upper East Side?

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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