Report From Engine Co. 82 -- Rembering A Classic November 17 2015, 3 Comments
In 1972 Dennis Smith penned what has become the best-loved and most honest description of the American Fire Service. Written during the peak of the 'War Years', it shows the struggles, camaraderie, and the soul of the FDNY. The book is written honestly and plainly from a soldier in the trenches. It is approachable and engrossing. And 40+ years after its publication it is still relatable to every new firefighter that reads it. "Report from Engine Co. 82" captures that rare and unique time in the American Fire Service where a few men found themselves in between fire, violence, fiscal calamity and torrents of people in need. You can grab a copy here.
In early September, after reading the book (for the 2nd time), I contacted Dennis Smith to see if he would be interested in collaborating on a Signature t-shirt to commemorate 'Engine Co. 82'. I had never met Dennis and didn't know if he'd even write me back. To my surprise, he did and after a few conversations, he gave me the go ahead.
Dennis Smith stayed with FDNY for an additional 19 years after publishing "Engine Co. 82". In all, he has published 11 books and also founded Firehouse magazine. His career is storied and prolific. He is a spokesman and advocate for firefighters worldwide and a genuinely nice guy.
Currently, Dennis Smith is working on his biggest project yet. He is the founder of wavepeg.com. Simply put it is a community where emergency professionals can come together and share and find nearly anything in their field. Want to share a walk through of your firehouse? Post it here. Want to know about current events and issues affecting the fire service? Check here. If you have a moment, check out wavepeg and give it a look.
On a personal note, it has been a wild, great ride running Hook and Irons. Mostly though, it has been extremely rewarding finding like-minded firefighters who love 'the job'. But by far, meeting and talking with some of the people who have shaped the modern fire service has been the best. Thanks Dennis.