Dozens of first responders and community members from Crow Wing County gathered for a prayer vigil to support the paramedic who survived the crash of a medical helicopter last week.

Acquaintances say Josh Duda remains in critical condition at North Memorial Hospital in Robbinsdale with broken bones, but is expected to survive. The two others on board the chopper, pilot Tim McDonald and nurse Deb Schott, were killed in Friday’s crash at the Brainerd airport.

Duda’s friend Mike Pluimer said at a gathering in Baxter Sunday night that Josh is a natural fighter who is the community’s leader in Iron Man competitions. He says what gets you to the end of the grueling race is grit and determination. KARE-TV says Pluimer expects his friend will be competing again after he recovers.