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Survival flight touches down on the lawn at the Dexter American Legion Post 557.

Each year, on the third Wednesday in August, area firefighters come together for a special first responder picnic at the Dexter American Legion Post 557.

Fire trucks all in a row.

Bob Wagner, the Dexter Area Fire Department assistant chief, said the event began in 1966 when the Ann Arbor Township and Dexter fire departments got together at Delhi Park.

In 1980, the group moved to the Legion property, he said, and then the Chelsea fire department was invited. From that point on, each year the event got a little bigger as more firefighters from across the county began attending.

This year, they came from Chelsea and Dexter, Grass Lake and Scio Township, Putnam, Milan, Ann Arbor and Superior townships, to name a few.

About 200 firefighters, family members, supporters and friends were treated to a free buffet as well as a close-up view of the new U-M Survival Flight’s  American Eurocopter 155 B1 helicopter and its four-person crew.

In fact, the new copter landed right next to the Legion Post at the corner of Dexter-Chelsea and Main streets in Dexter to an enthralled crowd.

The picnic is an evening when firefighters and other first responders from across the county can get together with their families, board members, and elected officials in a relaxed setting to enjoy a special meal.

Firefighters get a close look at the new U-M Survival Flight copter.

Fire apparatus from many of the departments were parked in rows with kids playing games around them.

The meal typically begins with a special prayer and this year it was recited by Marsha McCreary.

“Almighty God, Protector of All Mankind,

Your Strength, power and wisdom are a Beacon of light to all people:

Give special guidance to firefighters so that they may be protected from harm while performing their duty.

Help them with your loving care while they work to save the lives and property of all people young and old.

Give them courage, the alertness to protect their neighbors and all others who they are pledged to aid when involved in fire or accident.

Remember especially those who are not with us today.

Bless those who have prepared this food, and all who partake.

Bob Wagner serves the crowd with about 200 meals.


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One Response to “Firefighters get upclose view of new U-M Survival Flight copter”

  1. Jim Chapman says:

    I was wondering what was going on. I saw the Survival Flight copter circle over Dexter on my way to AA for work last night. I didn’t see any traffic backup so I figured it was a special event, not an accident. It is nice that UofM does this with the chopper and the crew. It’s also nice that the first responders all have an event to get together at like this.