Report from Engine Co. 82 Summary & Study Guide

Dennis Smith (firefighter)
This Study Guide consists of approximately 27 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of Report from Engine Co. 82.
This section contains 475 words
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Report from Engine Co. 82 Summary & Study Guide Description

Report from Engine Co. 82 Summary & Study Guide includes comprehensive information and analysis to help you understand the book. This study guide contains the following sections:

This detailed literature summary also contains Topics for Discussion and a Free Quiz on Report from Engine Co. 82 by Dennis Smith (firefighter).

In his book, REPORT FROM ENGINE CO. 82 Dennis Smith relates the day-to-day life of a fireman in the volatile South Bronx community of New York City. Company 82 receives thousands of calls for help each year. Each call presents the potential of injury or death to the firemen who respond. The story highlights the camaraderie the men share at the engine house. Much of the sarcastic humor is just a way to cope with the inherent risk of their jobs and the sad, tragic lives of those they serve. A printed sign, kept all but hidden, epitomizes the true nature of their lot. It reads, "This could be the night."

Although the firemen of Engine Company 82 are dedicated and are not paid well for risking life and limb, the community they serve does not generally respect them. The ruffians in the neighborhood seem to categorize them with the police—another authority figure to scorn. They are called pigs by groups of young kids chanting and tossing other invectives toward them as well. Kids throw stones and bricks at the vulnerable firemen standing on their fleet vehicles on the way to perhaps save a neighbor or a friend of the perpetrator.

The book was written in 1972, and therefore the statistics cited in the book relate to that time period. Engine Company 82 alone received 2,000 malicious false alarms (MFA's) in the prior year. New York City as a whole, received over 72,000 MFA's. To sound a false alarm is a felony, but rarely is anyone caught. If someone is turned in, it is usually a kid who doesn't understand why he's in trouble—all the kids pull false alarms. It's exciting to see the big red trucks speed in the neighborhood with the uniformed firemen ready to fight a fire. These calls are dangerous for the firemen and leave other areas vulnerable from lack of protection.

The real villain of the story of REPORT FROM ENGINE CO. 82 are the wicked, dangerous fires that the brave firemen have to fight. An average of eight firemen lose their lives each year with many more sustaining serious injuries. The injuries range from minor burns from live embers dropping on the firemen's exposed skin to smoke inhalation, broken bones and serious burns. If a fireman dies in the line of duty, his widow receives only half pay while a career-ending injury provides the family with three-quarters pay.

Dennis Smith, his wife and three sons live 60 miles north of the city in a town that provides a better way of life than the crowded big city. However, Dennis Smith's heart belongs to the South Bronx of New York City. Although scorned by much of the community, he and his fellow fireman are dedicated to serving the people of the community, often saving their lives and helping them through tragedy.

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This section contains 475 words
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