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Report from Engine Co. 82

4.39 of 5 stars 4.39  ·  rating details  ·  488 ratings  ·  43 reviews
From his bawdy and brave fellow firefighters to the hopeful, hateful, beautiful and beleaguered residents of the poverty-stricken district where he works, Dennis Smith tells the story of a brutalising yet rewarding profession.
Paperback, 240 pages
Published April 1st 1999 by Grand Central Publishing (first published January 1st 1972)
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Tiger's Voyage by Colleen HouckTable 21 by T. Rafael CiminoHyphema by Chelle CorderoMid Ocean by T. Rafael CiminoReport from Engine Co. 82 by Dennis  Smith
Everyday Heros
5th out of 37 books — 102 voters
The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. SalingerThe Great Gatsby by F. Scott FitzgeraldA Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty  SmithBreakfast at Tiffany's by Truman CapoteExtremely Loud and Incredibly Close by Jonathan Safran Foer
Tales of New York City
239th out of 911 books — 849 voters

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(showing 1-30 of 817)
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Karl Groll
The following quotes are taken from Report from Engine Co. 82, by Dennis Smith. Page numbers are provided from the paperback published by Warner Books in 1999, ISBN: 0-446-67552-0


I hope that the young men joining the fire departments around the country are doing so out of some sense of commitment to the profession and to the people, not because of the excitement of the sounds of sirens and bells. Firefighting is a brutalizing business. The community will take you for granted, they will not sa
Contrary to the stereotype, firefighters do not sit around the firehouse playing cards all day. I first read this book in the early 1980's after I joined the volunteer fire department. I found Dennis Smith's description of the duties and problems firefighters face to be most accurate. Company 82 is situated in New York City and was written in the 70's but it's still a fast paced and hysterical read. My sister, who is not interested in the fire service, also loved the book and screamed with laugh ...more
Aidan Mace
Firemen have one of the most thank less jobs imaginable, nobody really cares about them until all hell breaks loose and they don't know who to turn this book this is something Firefighter Dennis Smith deals with everyday he walked through those big gleaming bay doors of the firehouse.Smith is a very well respected New York City fireman he spent over 18 years with the department in one of the worst boroughs of the city,the south Bronx,Smith did not only write this book, he is writing about ...more
A great book. Shows the fire department from the inside. It isn't all fun, playing with the lights and sirens and sliding down the brass pole. The fire house is your home for at least 24 hours, or more if you trade shifts with someone on the day before or after you. There are the daily household chores that have to get done, inspections of all the equipment and of the fire trucks, fire engines, tactical and other units. It wouldn't do to get on a scene and not have a necessary piece of equipment ...more
Jenn Scranton
Definitely enlightening.

I learned so much from this book. The good, the bad, the ugly....and the "snotty". (Book was written before FF wore face masks, or so I've been told)

This book makes you look at Firemen like the people that they are. They have family. Wives. Husbands. Children. And they put themselves at risk for your safety.

Love you local Firemen. Check your smoke alarms!

My favorite new "Firefighting term" from my favorite local Firefighter:
"Gotta put the wet stuff on the red stuff"

If you ask what a firefighter's job is, I believe no better answer is available than Dennis Smith's. I read this when it was newly published in 1972. It caused a sensation with its excellent writing and sharp descriptions of the life of a firefighter in one of the busiest stations in NYC, therefore in the country. A good portion of it is dated (Women firefighters? No sir!) but most of it is current as well. There's something in the character of some people that lets them deal successfully with t ...more
Scott Primrose
The best book about the life of a firefighter ever written! When you get done reading this, you will understand what it was like being an FDNY fireman when the Bronx was burning in the early 70's.
In the wake of 9/11 I read Smith's 'Report From Ground Zero' as suggested by my mother, who had read this book when it was first released. I found 'Ground Zero' to be very well-written, as Smith got to the heart of the experience from the perspective of a first responder that day. I may read that book again soon, as the details are not fresh enough in my mind to compare the names and companies with those mentioned in this book.
As with 'Ground Zero', Smith takes readers in-depth and holds nothing
It's not just a good book for people interested in firefighting. Dennis Smith was a firefighter in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country, and yet his compassion and patience with the most extreme levels of poverty is fascinating to read. His discussions about the cause and results of poverty are uncommon make this book more than just another firefighter's memoir.
Bret Quinn
I read this after seeing Smith on "The Today Show" promotional book tour. I was only 10, so I had trouble grasping the cruelty of those who call in false alarms. I was shocked to hear that firemen have died as a result of false alarms. This book gave me a realistic look into the lives of firefighters in New York City, and I came away with a new respect for firefighters.
Decent book. The juxtaposition of the firefighters fighting fires in the middle of hell (the South Bronx in the late 1960s) sticks with you. All these people living terrible lives and dying bad deaths but the guys in the firehouse going out call after call in the middle of meals, of sleep, of just returning from other calls. (700 some odd calls a month would be bad enough, but the 1/3 that are malicious false alarms that get other folks killed is the kicker). The cumulative exhaustion, the trips ...more
Kyle Mcavoy
The book was totally excellent, it made me want to put on my fire boots, jacket, helmet, and jump on to the back of an Engine. This is astounding writing, and vivid detail, talking about the wort time in the Bronx in history. The way that he put it was excellent, and shows how much firefighting has improved, and the world has improved, the one thing that he put into my mind is that when something bad happens, firemen come
I realized about a third of the way through that I had read this years and years ago, but it is still worth the time. Having worked for almost 20 years as a 911 Dispatcher in Iowa City, it is hard for me to fathom the work load these NYC Firefighters had to endure. And so thanklessly. In Iowa City everyone LOVES the Firefighters.

I am also thankful that times and equipment have changed making things a little safer. However, when you read this book knowing it took place 40 years ago, you realize
John J.
I read this book many years ago as a teenager and could not put it down. Reread it again several years later. It helped give me info and guided me with my lifelong interest in the fire service.
This was one of the best books I have read about the fire service. It's full of first hand experiences by the author who was a firefighter on Engine 82. It's the kind of book that you can't put down.
Robert Snow
Great book on what it is like to be a firefighter in NYC. Very popular when it was first released... Smith, a firefighter writes from the heart about those who put their lives on the line everyday in a job that most people consider necessary, but too dangerous as a profession! If you have been around firefighters you know the brotherhood and the dark humor that surrounds the them and their firehouse. Being around a firehouse one is never sure where firefighter really lives, because they have two ...more
Jul 05, 2009 Annemarie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommended to Annemarie by: I looked up books on firefighters on Amazon and it got a good re
Very interesting book. The way it was written was different. It jumped back and forth a lot, but in some ways it made it that much more interesting. At first I would've thought that he'd have put more details in about the fires, but then there was so much packed into this book that I'm glad that he didn't because it wasn't needed. It was also interesting to see how much firefighting has changed since the 1960s and 70s, but also how much it hasn't. The book wasn't at all what I had expected, but ...more
An interesting read for people in the fire service. This is an autobiography basically of when Dennis Smith was on Engine 82 in the Bronx in the 1970s. These were the "war years" of the Bronx and at one time Engine 82 was making almost 10,000 calls per year. This might not be the most interesting book for people not in the fire service since they won't really have a connection with what the author is relaying. I liked it anyway. Last Men Out is still the best Firefighting book I have read.
Danny Ross
This book is about a fireman in the south bronx and is crazy everyday life. He lives for fighting fires and being the man aiming the nozzle but a lot of the time he is answering either kids pulling false alarms or garbage fires. There is always a risk of one of his comrades dying and many do in this true story. I highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to sit down and look up 3 hours later after devouring this book.
This was a GREAT BOOK! Dennis Smith was a real life firefighter, and it shows how the life there lifes day by day on the job, and shows what firefighters really see and have to go through on a faily basis. Its a amazing and true story of his life as a firefighter, and its great you have too read it!!
Quite an interesting read. This book was recommended to all of us at the station by a fellow firefighter who enjoyed the writing style and I agree, it was very well written. I love that he captured the daily grind of a station, from the thought out dinners to the endless jokes.
It is a best-selling classic, the first-ever literary firefighting memoir and, even after more than 40 years, it is highly recommended by readers with a passion for firefighting memoirs. Timeless and powerful, Report From Engine Co. 82 is a book that cannot be put down.
This book was recommended to me by Ted Truscott. As he warned, once I started reading, I couldn't put it down. I'm not sure what was more moving about the book - the dedication of the men or the horrid circumstances for the residents of the South Bronx.
Ray Dinterman
I have been trying to remember what books I read "first". Those books picked up at the drug store (Waldenbooks did not open in my town until 1974). This was one that came to mind, published in '72. What a flashback, I need to find a copy to read again.
This book is one of my favorite books, and does such a fantastic job of getting the reader to see the reality of what life was like in the South Bronx during the 60's and 70's. It is a book that can be read and re-read over and over.
Dennis Smith is probably the foremost fire book author ever and opened up a whole genre. Doesn't hurt that he covers the most turbulent period any fire department has ever faced and the elite of all fire departments...FDNY. Great read!
Feb 11, 2008 Jeff rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone.
Legendary. What life was like in the "War Years". These are some of the FDNY's heavyweights. The way Mr. Smith describes the characters in the firehouse, will put you right at the kitchen table.
J. Dallas
One of the first and best books ever written about the fire service. It grabs you from the first page and pulls you through the challenges, danger and heartbreak of Americas Bravest.
Sharon Zink
I listened to this book on CDs. It was well written and informative. It kept my attention. I am glad this fireman decided to write!
Jenell Hollett
This was THE BOOK that turned me into a reader. Read it in high school and have read it many times since. I highly recommend this one.
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Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the GoodReads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

Dennis Smith is a former firefighter, a writer and president of a company offering financial services to emergency services personnel. He is an advocate for firefighters in the United States. He served for 18 years (1963-1981) as a firefighter with the New York City Fire Dep
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