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Posted on Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 5:50 a.m.

Dexter Area Fire Department board president calls firefighters tornado response 'remarkable'

By Lisa Allmendinger


One of the Dexter Area Fire Department vehicles.

Lisa Allmendinger |

“If there’s one word that can describe the response of the Dexter Area Fire Department, it’s 'remarkable',” the DAFD Board President Jim Seta, told the Dexter VIllage Council Monday night.

“Not to be political but, it made us proud to be the Dexter Area Fire Department,” he said.

During his quarterly report to the Dexter Village Council Monday night, Seta said that firefighters are back to a regular schedule after about a week of overtime for emergency services following the EF-3 tornado that hit both the Village of Dexter and Dexter Township.

“We haven’t totaled the expenses yet,” he said, but they are being logged, and there were more than 100 fire runs to the Village of Dexter.

However, last week the fire board decided that each of the three municipalities in the area fire department - Dexter, Dexter Township and Webster Township - would be charged for one run each.


Dexter Area Fire Department Chief Loren Yates

Lisa Allmendinger |

“They did a phenomenal job, in what could be called ‘organized chaos,’ and keep in mind that some members of the fire department had to leave their families to help other people,” Seta said.

Dexter Area Fire Chief Loren Yates said that the only injury was a small cut on a contractor’s finger that required a Band-Aid.

“I don’t think there are enough thank you’s that can be said to you,” to all the firefighters and to all of the first responders," Dexter Village President Shawn Keough told Yates, who was the incident commander for emergency operations during the tornado aftermath.

Seta said that during the previous quarter the firefighters had been undergoing “significant training,” including sessions on ice rescue, smoke training, thermal imaging and advanced structural collapse.

The fire department plans to hire another full-time firefighter by the end of April, and in addition, the fire board authorized the purchase of a new $369,000 pumper truck that will be located in Dexter Township.

“It’s a little narrower than the one we have and can be used on the narrower roads in Dexter Township,” Seta said.

The board plans to pay it off in five years at $78,000 per year, and the fire department plans to move engine 5-3 to Webster Township. Lisa Allmendinger is a regional reporter for She can be reached at For more Dexter stories, visit our Dexter page.



Wed, Mar 28, 2012 : 12:12 a.m.

Our fire department did an amazing job! If only the Law enforcement personal had done as well! When I was unable to reach my family, didnt know if my home was standing, police would not allow village residents into town. They claimed the conditions were "unsafe". If they were so unsafe, why were vehicles allowed on those same roads to LEAVE town?? Traffic is traffic, if there were a threat NO vehicles should have been traveling those roads! Finally, at 845 PM, a firefighter "trumped" the police at the checkpoint and told them I was allowed into town. THANK YOU to that firefighter!!!! I finally made it home to my family! Meanwhile, across town my 19 year old daughter was also being turned away at every place she tried to get home. What was more dangerous, letting people get to their homes in town or having them circling town for hours trying to find a way to get home? When I asked what I was supposed to do, I was told "I dont know, find another place to stay tonight" by the officer at the checkpoint. NICE ANSWER law enforcement!


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 12:36 p.m.

Even during the height of the storm, I could hear the sirens from emergency vehicles consistently. Kudos to them for a job well done!! When it comes to public safety, that is one millage request I will always support.


Tue, Mar 27, 2012 : 10:43 a.m.

Congratulations to the Dexter Firefighters for an outstanding job. It truly warms my heart to see how so many have come together to help in the time of need. Best wishes to all who lost so much -- and to all those who have helped.