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Answering the Bell: Life at a Firehouse on…
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Answering the Bell: Life at a Firehouse on the Turbulent North Side of…

by Brett Knapp

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0974410306, Paperback)

Two of the biggest stories in Minneapolis this year continue to be violence on the North Side and unprecedented layoffs forced upon the city's fire department by budget cuts at city hall. In his new book, Answering the Bell, award-winning writer Brett Knapp combines both worlds as he gives readers a rare, in-depth look into life at a firehouse on the city's turbulent North Side. Knapp spent the six months from July to December of 2002 living and riding along with Engine Company 14 and Ladder Company 10. Their station -- Station 14 -- is located in the heart of the North Side (at the corner of 33rd and James Ave. North), and has been nicknamed by firefighters who work there as both the "blood and guts" station and "the knife and gun club." These monikers might seem odd to people who don't know that firefighters in Minneapolis are also trained Emergency Medical Technicians who are dispatched to all 911 calls for medical help. In fact, around 80 percent of the runs Minneapolis firefighters go on are for medical emergencies. On the densely populated and largely poor North Side, many -- far too many -- of the medical runs Engine 14 and Ladder 10 see are for shootings, stabbings or other types of violent assault. And Engine 14 and Ladder 10 also battle a lot of fire, whether it be a burning abandoned house inhabited illegally by drug dealers and prostitutes or a vehicle that has been stolen for a joyride and then torched. In Answering the Bell, Knapp not only brings to life the heroic actions of Minneapolis firefighters as they respond to every type of emergency you can imagine, he also delves into firehouse life and allows the reader to get to know some of these very regular people who are very regularly heroic while the city of Minneapolis lives, works and plays all around them every day.

The 5.5" by 8.5" trade paperback runs 10 chapters and an epilogue, with a foreword written by MFD Fire Chief Rocco Forte. As the MFD is the most diverse big-city department in the nation, there are chapters dedicated to the experience of women and black firefighters, as well as chapters focusing dealing with September 11 and two rookies' first day on the job. It also includes several pages of photos of Engine 14 and Ladder 10 at work, as well as current and vintage photos of their station and apparatus.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:02 -0400)

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