Banff-Airdrie MP Blake Richards believes any chance to salute our first responders is time well spent.

Yesterday, he hosted a luncheon for firefighters, police, and EMS personnel, and presented each with a Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee pin.

"Any time we get an opportunity to show some appreciation for our first responders in the community, it's something you want to try and do," says Richards. "I mean, they never get thanked enough, they can't be thanked enough, so today is about a little recognition."

He believes its suiting to present them with the Queen's platinum jubilee pin.

"I know the Queen was really about duty, and honour and service," says Richards, "and I mean, if you think about who embodies those qualities, it's our first responders, so, what better way to use that recognition than to show a little appreciation to the first responders in our community."

Cochrane fire chief Shawn Polley said they enjoyed spending time with Richards and that the recognition was appreciated.

"It was designed to be a meet and greet and chitchat and to have that opportunity to talk to your MP should be a compliment to any service, let alone fire services. We have a great team here and are very appreciative of that opportunity."

The recognition comes just two weeks after four members of Cochrane Fire Services were recognized with the Alberta Emergency Services Medal and Bronze Bar Rosette. 

Huw JeffriesCpatain Huw Jeffries was recognized for 30 years of service with Cochrane Fire Service. From left, Mayor Jeff Genung, MP Blake Richards, Huw and Cochrane Fire Chief Shawn Polley.

The function also served as an opportunity to recognize Captain Huw Jeffries for 30 years of service with Cochrane Fire Services. Chief Polley presented the certificate and also read some accolades from Jeffries' fellow firefighters.

Jeffries says it was a very special day.

"It's getting the appreciation from the community, from the employer, from my co-workers, it's phenomenal."

Jeffries was 18 turning 19 when he joined back Cochrane's volunteer fire department on Sept. 9, 1991. He was part of the evolution of the service into a full-time EMS service followed by a full-time fire department. He was involved in the construction of the new fire hall that replaced an older and much smaller one on 2nd Ave. across the street from The Homestead.

First responders awardRecipients of the Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee pin with MP Blake Richards and Mayor Jeff Genung.