Comprehending Written Material

Passage 1 – Firefighters

Firefighters are on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year – even on Christmas day! They provide an essential service in all countries.   A firefighter’s job can be quite tedious on-call, and then very stressful when responding to an emergency. They are responsible for attaching hoses to hydrants, using powerful pumps, as well as “flying” up ladders, and using various tools to break through windows and doors. A firefighter’s duties also include entering burning buildings to rescue victims. Some firefighters are trained for providing onsite medical attention. Research conducted by the National Fire Protection Association, suggests the majority of calls firefighters respond to are medical emergencies, and not fires. Firefighters perform other rescue tasks such as rescuing animals from trees.

Directions:   Read the passage below carefully then answer the questions

Firefighters have to be very well rounded and capable of conducting a variety of tasks at the scene of an emergency. Some firefighters require forensic skills to determine the cause of a fire. A firefighters’ duties may alternate quite a lot of times while at the scene of an emergency. In some instances, they have to remain at the scene of a disaster for weeks, freeing trapped victims and providing medical assistance.

While at the station, firefighters are on-call at all times. During this time, they inspect equipment, conduct drills so as to stay sharp, as well as eat and sleep during a 24 hour shift.

There are different types of fires hence the need or different types of firefighters. Some of the various types of fire fighters include forest, structural, aircraft and shipboard firefighters.

Forest firefighters, also called Wildland Firefighters, use a variety of heavy equipment along with water hoses to tame forest fires. They often create fire lines which controls the fire by starving it of fuel. There is a special team of firefighters called smoke jumpers who parachute from airplanes to target hard to reach areas of forest fires.

Questions – Passage 1

1. Which paragraph best summarizes the job of firefighters?

a. The first paragraph
b. The third paragraph
c. The fourth paragraph
d. The last paragraph

2. Under which category of firefighters would you place smoke jumpers?

a. structural
b. shipboard
c. forest
d. air craft

3. What is the aim of this passage?

a. To show that fire fighters work throughout the year
b. Outlines the work of fire fighters
c. Highlight the different types of firefighters
d. All of the above

4. Which of the following are firefighters mostly called to respond to?

a. Rescue animals
b. Putting out fires
c. Medical emergencies
d. Carrying out search and rescue

Passage 2

Fires can be useful, deadly, destructive it all depends whether you   can control it. There was a time when I thought that all fires could be extinguished with water, but boy was I wrong and I learned the hard way too. My father is an electrician and a fairly good one too, I remember he was working in the garage one day and just like that an electrical fire had started. I ran like the flash to get a bucket of water and swiftly threw it on the fire. Not only did the fire burn my father bet he also suffered electrical shocks. Little did I know that electrical fires can’t be extinguished like that. It is very important for all persons to have a knowledge of extinguishing fires.

There are several different types of fires and they can’t all be extinguished in the same way. While most fires can be extinguished using water, many other fires require different means to be extinguished. Memory takes me back to the a grade nine science class on combustion, the teacher poured gasoline on the surface of water contained in a beaker then lit it with a match. The fire walked on the surface of the water leaving me amazed. I though this to be impossible and even stated it in my hypothesis before the experiment. The teacher then covered the beaker with a piece of cardboard. I thought the fire would burn through the cardboard but instead it went out. It was then explained that fire requires oxygen, fuel and heat in order to burn. The oxygen was removed causing the fire to go out.

Today, there are so many types of fire extinguishers on the market. these include, Water and Foam fire extinguishers that snuffs out a fire by removing the heat from the fire; Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers that puts out a fire by dissecting the oxygen form the fuel and the heat; Dry Chemical fire extinguishers puts out fires mainly by disrupting the chemical reaction taking place in the fire; Dry Powder extinguishers work by separating the fuel from the oxygen or by extracting the heat from the fire.

Scientist are also constantly formulating new ways of putting out fires.

Since 2015 a set of university students have discovered that even sound waves can extinguish fires.

Questions – Passage 2

5. What component of the fire did the teacher remove to extinguish the fire?

a. Fuel
b. Oxygen
c. Heat
d. All of the above

6. The purpose of the article is to

a. Highlight ways of extinguishing fires
b. Highlight the different types of fire extinguishers on the market
c. Provide information on fires
d. Distinguish between different types of fires

7. Which type of fire should not be extinguished by water?

a. Forest fires
b. Fires with gasoline as the fuel
c. Electrical fires
d. None of the above

Answer Key

1. A
The first paragraph provides a summary of firefighter’s job. The second paragraph is mainly about different tasks a firefighter performs.  The third paragraph is about being on-call.  The fourth paragraph is about different types of fires. And the last paragraph is about forest firefighters.

2. C
Smoke jumpers are forest firefighters. The last paragraph highlights this fact.

3. D
All of the above. Choices A, B and C are all aims of the passage hence choice D is the correct response.

a. to show that fire fighters work throughout the year
b. outlines the work of fire fighters
c. highlight the different types of firefighters

4. C
Firefighters most frequently respond to medical emergencies. This is clearly highlighted in the first paragraph.

5. B
Oxygen (Highlighted in line 20 of the passage)

6. A
Highlight ways of extinguishing fires (this is the main theme of the passage and each paragraph speaks to a means of putting out fires)

7. C
Electrical fires (this can be deduced from the writers experience when he attempted to extinguish the fire in the garage)

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