Report from Engine Company 82,
By Dennis Smith.
Published by Grand Central Publishing,
Hachette Book Group, New York City, 1999.
This book is an awesome account of firefighting in the Bronx in the 1970’s when fires where occurring back-to-back. Dennis Smith was a firefighter in Engine 82 and Ladder 31 on Intervale Avenue near Freeman Street in the Bronx. This book is the only book I have ever read in one night. I read this book in 1978 on a Friday night, by 1984 I was working in the Bronx as a paramedic. I have done many jobs with Engine 82 and love to read the history of FDNY. This book is essential for new firefighters.
Report from Engine Company 82 details fires and events in the Bronx with funny stories that make you laugh and stories of death and destruction that make you pause and realize life is frail. Dennis Smith details the loss of a firefighter who fell off the rear step and was killed by a responding ladder truck behind Engine Company 82. Smith also tells of the deaths caused by malicious false alarms (One of the reasons fire alarm boxes have been reduced by the hundreds.)
Read about firefighting:
- When firemen gauged a fires intensity by singeing of their ears
- Before firemen wore bunker pants
- When firemen rode on the rear step of apparatus
- Learn why cabs of apparatus are now all enclosed
- Learn the reasons behind safety rules and procedures we have present day
The Bronx has changed dramatically since the 1970’s. The burned out blocks of buildings are gone, replaced by modern fire resistant, water sprinklered buildings. This book is a great read for firefighters and people interested in urban history. The book was originally printed in 1972 by McCall Books. Report from Engine Company 82 was out of print for many years but is now back on the “shelves”.
Author Facts: Dennis Smith also was Editor-In-Chief of Firehouse Magazine and authored a picture book entitled Firehouse, and another book entitled, Report From Ground Zero.
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