Wings and competition hot at first responder BBQ


SPRING GROVE, Pa. (WHTM) – First responders showed off their barbecuing skills, and the public got to be the judge.

This is for a new community event showing off the world of competitive barbecuing.

Firefighters, EMS, and police enjoyed a little friendly competition Friday.

“You don’t barbecue unless you talk a little game,” York County Sheriff’s Deputy Ken Leveck said.

The wings aren’t the only thing that’s hot. The competition is just as fierce.

“We talk smack to each other. We all prod each other. We try to sneak up on each other and see who’s got what recipe,” Southern Regional Police Chief James Boddington said.

“These guys are really competitive, and they do a lot for our community. They all know each other. They’re brothers, but they like to win,” John McLucas, director of community development for Spring Grove, said.

Leveck took to the grill for the First Responder Cup at the first ever “Smoke in the Grove” at Spring Grove Park.

“When we get together to have fun, it really is a brotherhood,” Leveck said. “It’s something you cannot explain. The military knows it, law enforcement knows it, firefighters know it, and first responders know that we have each others back.”

Teams representing six police departments and six fire companies, as well as the VFW, barbecued their tastiest wings. Each team got 20 pounds of wings to cook over an open flame.

“Anytime we can get together and de-stress and do it in the camaraderie of the people that we work with on a daily basis,” Boddington said. “There’s fire and EMS who works with us. They understand what we go through. We understand what they go through.”

The public can also come out Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. for the PA State Championship BBQ Competition. Some of the best smokers in the eastern part of the United States will compete.Get breaking news, weather and traffic on the go. Download our News App and our Weather App for your phone and tablet.

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