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Report from Engine Co. 82 Paperback – April 1, 1999

4.8 out of 5 stars 111 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

In 1972, Emergency, a show about the Los Angeles Fire Department, debuted on network TV. That same year, Smith, a New York City fireman, published this book about life in what was the busiest fire station in the country. It is the diary of a fireman in a station with over 700 calls per month. From the life and death heroics of firefighting to the frustration of false alarms and garbage fires, Smith ably shares his life at Engine Co. 82. Written during a period of civil unrest, the work captures the spirit of that time and shows how the social problems of the era affected the lives of the firemen whose duty was to protect all the citizens in their district. The author paints a portrait of the fire house: the drills, the off-color jokes, the male-bonding that occurs when men know their lives will often be in the hands of their buddies. Adam Henderson does a great job with the various New York City accents. Highly recommended for all public libraries.-Theresa Connors, Arkansas Tech Univ., Russellville (Library Journal) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Dennis Smith is Professor of Sociology at Loughborough University, and the author of many books, including "The Rise of Historical Sociology" (Polity Press, 1991)

Dennis Smith is Professor of Sociology at Loughborough University, and the author of many books, including "The Rise of Historical Sociology" (Polity Press, 1991)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; WARNER BOOKS edition (April 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446675520
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446675529
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (111 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #45,329 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Dennis Smith's Report From Engine Company 82 was a huge best seller when it first appeared in 1972 and it immediately put its author into the rarified air of commercially successful authors. No small feat considering that 1 of every 3 books published fails to make any money at all and fewer than 1% sell more than a million copies, the way this book did.
Smith captured forever the day to day grind of inner city firefighters, before air masks were used regularly. He brings the reader into the last days of pre-modern, urban firefighting, the suffocating heat, the blinding smoke, the gut wrenching fear and most of all the camaraderie that comes along with a job that requires disciplined teamwork and exacting attention to detail.
Report opens up with a fire, of course, where Engine 82 and Ladder 31 are forced to breach or break through a wall to get a teenager out of a rear bedroom of a burning apartment. The first two firefighters from Engine 82 enter without air masks and take a terrible beating before they're relieved on the line by two members who are "tanked up." Smith takes the reader through the entire event, step by agonizing step.
Smith lets us see the teeming ghetto that existed around his Intervale Avenue firehouse at the time - today, that same area is covered with single family Nehemia Homes. He takes the reader through the emergencies (gas and water leaks), car accidents, false alarms and spectacular fires, from a firefighter's perspective. In it, he chronicles the death of a fireman, from Engine 82, who fell off the back of the rig, or backstep, while responding to a false alarm.
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Format: Paperback
I was in seventh grade in 1978 when I first read Report From Engine Co. 82, and no book I've read since has ever had as profound an effect on me. Dennis Smith and his brother firefighters on Intervale Ave. inspired me and, I'm sure, many others to become firefighters. The book is gripping and "in-your-face", taking you into some of the most dangerous and frustrating working conditions imaginable.
I just re-read the book, and doing so rekindled the respect and admiration for the heroes of the FDNY that it originally instilled in me 22 years ago. Recently a friend and I visited "The Big House" in the South Bronx, talked with the firemen, took pictures of the neighborhood, and brought Smith's book to life. The pull box at Charlotte St. & East 170th St. made infamous by Smith's book has been replaced by an ERS box; the crumbling, burning tenaments replaced by suburban looking homes. All that remains of the horrors that took place there in the seventies is the memories of daily heroism performed by the men of Engines 82, 85, Ladder 31 and 712 perpetuated by Smith's book.
Now a teacher, I'll be sharing Report From Engine Co. 82 with my class this year. I hope that with the use of this book, I can inspire the same respect, compassion, and concern for human life in my students that Smith inspired in me so long ago.
You don't have to be a firefighter or a "wanna-be" to love Report From Engine Co. 82. Treat yourself to it as soon as you can.
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Format: Paperback
When I first read this book I was in grade school. My dad thought if I wanted to be a firefighter I might want to read this book. I sit here right know and look at the inside of the cover, which is a hardcover and there is a price tag for $4.16 from Boscov's (which is a department store).
This book brings alive the fire service in New York City in the 1960's. This was one of the most challenging times in the New York City. During this time there were riots,a serious drug abuse problem, and politically charged agendas. But through all this the firefighters of New York City still had to provide fire protection to the citizens.
How many people can say that they know how it feels to be going to a fire to only find yourself a target for rocks, bricks and beer bottles. The men of Engine Company 82 and Ladder 31 found themselves in the situation more then once. These men had to deal with the pain and suffering of people that they went to help, and found that children involved made the job even harder.
Every shift they could look forward to arsons, malicious false alarms and the uncertainty of what might happen next. Did these men do this job for the money? I can say no they did not. They did it for the love of the job. That is why most firefighters do it. Most people and even some firefighters today do not realize the history and the changes that have been in the past 40 years.
I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to reads a book that they do not want to put down. Once you pick it up, you will not put it down until you are finished.
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Format: Paperback
This book, when I first read it in the 70's as a kid, cemented my desire to be a firefighter. It went past the gleaming paint and chrome and really showed me the grit of the job; that it wasn't always the glorious one I had envisioned but more of a thankless one. Dennis Smith's vivid imagery makes you feel like you're in the battle right there with his company. It also shows the toll that firefighting takes on it's participants, the physical as well as the emotional scars the job leaves. Smith takes you through his personal life, discussing his humble childhood and the effect his career has on his adult life.
All in all, a wonderful story that grabs you at the beginning and doesn't let go until the last page.
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