A local firefighter is being honoured. 

Elliott Davis, a Strathcona County firefighter, has been awarded with the Queen's Platinum Jubilee Medal for his efforts in the community.

Davis received the award on Dec. 28 at the Strathcona County Council Chambers from Strathcona-Sherwood Park MLA Nate Glubish.

Davis says it was Glubish who nominated him.

"He's gone really out of his way to get some of our messages across," Davis said.

Davis is no ordinary firefighter. He also serves as a paramedic, union president for Strathcona County Professional Firefighters Association, and vice president for their provincial board.

"I'm elected by my peers to represent them when it comes to bargaining with the employer, representing members for member issues, and advocating for our firefighter's health and wellness."

Davis was born in Ottawa and moved to Alberta when he was 20 years old to pursue a career in firefighting. 

He was inspired by his grandfather, who passed away at age 57 due to colon cancer, which is considered an occupational hazard for firefighters.

"When I was a kid and a firetruck would pass us, my dad would follow it to the scene of some incidents, and I think that's what sparked my interest in the profession."

While working as a firefighter, Davis began pushing towards advocacy in 2017 when he noticed that there was no one else to represent them, specifically when it comes to the change from a municipal system to a provincial system back in 2009. 

"The provincial system is a failed, flawed system. It's failed in other provinces. It's failing in our province. I believe we need to go back to a regional approach."

Davis said that while the provincial system helps those in need of emergency services, it takes a toll on personnel, which leads to a provincial-wide shortage.

"It's taken what was once a profession and turned it into a career," Davis said. "People are burning out in three to five years."

"It's taking some people longer to get the education to be a paramedic than they are actually putting back into the profession."

It's his passion for his peers that led to him receiving the award in the first place. He said that it's nice to have acknowledgement for the sacrifices that his wife and children have had to make.

"My family often gets the short end of the stick. I've had to miss parent-teacher interviews, concerts, and family activities because I get stuck on a late call."

"No firefighter is doing their job for accolades or to get medals, and I definitely don't do my work in organized labour for that, either," Davis said.

"However, it is nice to get the appreciation."