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Firefighters: Their Lives in Their Own Words Paperback – March 12, 2002

29 customer reviews

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Firefighters: Their Lives in Their Own Words + Report from Engine Co. 82 + The Last Men Out: Life on the Edge at Rescue 2 Firehouse
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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Smith, author of Report from Engine Co. 82 and editor of Firehouse magazine, has interviewed firefighters around the country, professional and volunteer, male and female, in big cities and in small towns, and here reports their observations about their careers. What shines through most consistently is their altruism: they love their work and not the least of the reasons for that affection is the opportunity they have to save lives, or at least to do good. Another strong element is camaraderie: firefighter after firefighter mentions the sense of family that each feels, a feeling almost as strong as that for the biological family. There are accounts of choosing firefighting as a career, the baptism of fire, firehouse life and, in a really harrowing chapter, details of some of the worst blazes. The book is as moving as it is informative. Photos not seen by PW. $75,000 ad/promo; author tour.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Inside Flap

An unforgettable journey through the daily lives of the brave men and women who have made saving lives their profession.
Dennis Smith, author of Report from Engine Co. 82, traveled across the country talking to dozens of America's firefighters to put together this powerful collection of their own descriptions of their most dramatic and intense experiences on the job. Their stories, compiled here, are timeless testimonies to the human capacity for heroism and nobility.
Focusing on the most courageous firefighters, from those who have been decorated for heroism to those who have been seriously injured, Firefighters presents the extraordinarily rich and rugged voices of men and women who fight urban building fires, who battle sweeping forest fires, who perform emergency rescues, and who face extreme danger and risk as part of their everyday lives. Sometimes brave, sometimes funny, sometimes bittersweet or filled with anger, these voices combine to make Firefighters both a riveting adventure drama and a moving chronicle of American heroism at its finest.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books; 1 edition (March 12, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0767913078
  • ISBN-13: 978-0767913072
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #265,430 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Sean J. Wilson on April 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
I'm a 27 year-old professional firefighter in a suburb of Detroit. When I was 16 I picked up this book on a whim at the public library and it enveloped me. This book, along with Dennis Smith's classic Report From Engine Co. 82, was the inspiration for me to try to become a fireman. Mr. Smith takes the great anecdotes that every firefighter accumulates and puts them into print just the way they were told, in the fine oral tradition that lives today in every fire hall in the world. Some stories are funny, some sad, some make you wonder why any one anywhere would ever think to take the test.
Whether you're an old brown-shoed leather-lung, or some fresh-faced youngster eyeing this career field for the first time with a furrowed brow, or just someone looking for a book of hair-raising tales from the people who lived it, this book has something in it to give you pause.
Thank you Dennis Smith, from the bottom of my heart. It was you that made all the difference in my life.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 29, 1998
Format: Hardcover
If your a firefighter you will relate to most of the stories in this book. the author has done an excellent job at putting the word into understandable feelings and did a excellent job in relating to firefighters. If you havnt read this book your missing out on the best one I have read yet.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 1998
Format: Hardcover
I'm suprised this book is now out of print. Having read it almost 10 years ago made me go back to the bookshelf and re-read it. This book is an excellent compilation of firefighters from around the country. The stories the firefighters tell are funny, sad, and overall enjoyable. It is written by firefighters for fighters.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mike on March 22, 2002
Format: Paperback
The title really says it all. This book is told by firefighters, but it is not just for firefighters. I would highly recommend this to anyone thinking of joining the fire service.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on January 30, 2004
Format: Paperback
Do you like the thrill of going into a burning building? The book "Firefighters: Their Lives in Their Own Words", is written by Dennis Smith. Firefighting is not an easy thing to do. This book tells you what they do and how they live.
Firefighters do not live an easy life, despite what American people might think. The book explores firefighting all over the United States. Some of the places are New York City, Boston, San Francisco, and Chicago. Some firefighters go into the bucket of a ladder truck; others are interior. This means that they go into the burning building and put their lives at risk.
I give this book five stars and recommend this book to anyone that loves adventures. It is an easy read with lots of pictures.
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13 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Michael Wolfe on February 10, 2006
Format: Paperback
I had a hard time getting through this book. It is mostly boring and repetitive. The comments and anecdotes by Dennnis Smith are often arrogant and self-serving. I am a retired firefighter from Los Angeles County FD and very much enjoy reading about firefighter experiences and talking with firefighters from other areas and other countries. I have great admiration for volunteers who give to their community with personal sacrifice and often great risk. I am greatly bothered by firefighters, especially professionals, who toot their own horn and think of themselves as great heroes. This book is just not very interesting at best, and at worst is somewhat offensive.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By darksideemt on November 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't believe this is Dennis Smith's best work. I have read both "Report from Engine 82" and "Report from Ground Zero" and they were excellent books. While some of the stories were quite compelling and interesting to hear about how things use to be, some of the stories were repetative and boring. It wasn't a totally bad book and ok to get if you get it cheap, but there are definately better reads out there.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By FireChick on April 29, 2009
Format: Paperback
This book is amazing. It truly shows how close a family we as firefighters are. They cover the entire US, with stories from different branches of our job. Makes you proud to know you're one of these fine people! If you want to know what life is really like for a firefighter, read this book. You'll walk away with a new perspective.
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