Deputy Fire Chief surprised with final Saskatchewan Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal

MIchael Oleksyn/Daily Herald (L to R) Prince Northcote MLA presented Prince Albert Deputy Fire Chief Alex Paul with a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal on Friday at the main Fire Station.

Prince Albert Deputy Fire Chief Alex Paul got a surprise on Friday when PA Northcote MLA Alana Ross presented Paul with a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal (Provincial) for his years of dedication to public service both through his career and volunteer work.

Paul received the medal during a ceremony at the main Fire Station. His medal is the final one that will be approved by the province, Ross said. There are a few other still to be handed out, but those were approved before Paul’s.

Paul said he thought all Jubilee Medals had been handed out in 2023, so he was surprised to get one so far down the road.

“I was totally taken off guard by this,” he said. “The Fire Chief was off on vacation today. I wasn’t expecting anybody else in the building and he showed up here about 20 minutes before the presentation and suggested that I should put on my dress uniform, that there was a presentation being made.”

Paul’s interest in public service stretches back many years. It started as a teenager in 1983 when he joined St. John Ambulance, which had a volunteer brigade in Prince Albert at the time.

“We attended many community events, the Exhibition, all of the Raider Games, Founders Day, things like that, doing volunteer first aid work,” Paul said.

“The natural progression from that was to get into EMS so I became an EMT and started working with Parkland Ambulance. (I) worked with them for five years, from 1990 to 1995, and then made the move over to the fire service and that’s where I remain today.”

Paul has since risen through the ranks to Deputy Chief. He said that his career and volunteer work has always been about serving the public.

The “B” Platoon that was on duty for the day was in attendance. Paul’s family was also in attendance.

Prince Albert Fire Chief Kris Olsen said in his speech that Paul was recognized for both his career as a firefighter and in the public service. Paul has been working in the community safety field since 1990 with both Parkland Ambulance and the Prince Albert Fire Department.

Paul’s volunteer work began with St. John Ambulance in 1983 filling many positions. In 1992 he started with the Prince Albert North Search and Rescue which he still works with today.

“All these hours of dedication don’t come with a paycheque, they come with dedication to the community,” Olsen said.

After the speech by Olsen, Ross presented Paul with his medal. In his speech following the presentation, Paul noted that people do not do work and volunteer as a way to receive recognition but he was honoured to be recognized.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Medal (Provincial) commemorates the 70th anniversary of the Accession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second to the Throne as Queen of Canada. The Queen Elizabeth II Platinum Jubilee Medal (Saskatchewan) recipients are to be of all ages and from all walks of life who have contributed to their community and society.