More than two dozen Edmonton firefighters were honoured with Diamond Jubilee medals for their contributions to the community on Tuesday.

The award ceremony took place at City Hall, where 26 members of Edmonton Fire Rescue received Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medals from Edmonton-Centre MP Laurie Hawn.

The firefighters received the recognition for their service to the community, work with the Edmonton Firefighters Burn Treatment Society, and for their annual fundraising efforts for muscular dystrophy research.

Those recognized ranged from firefighters working early in their career to members near retirement.

“It is an absolute honour to be part of this spectacular group that has donated a career’s worth of volunteering back to the city, the province, and to Canada itself,” said Ian McKee, medal recipient and chairman of the Firefighter’s Society.

McKee is personally being recognized for his work with the Burn Treatment Society, which supports the Firefighters Burn Treatment Unit at the University Hospital.

He says it’s been long, hard work that no one does for recognition – but it’s humbling to receive the recognition.

“I don’t know how to put it in words,” McKee said.

“I’m very honoured, humbled and overwhelmed This isn’t why we do this. It’s just a culmination of really good work. It’s overwhelming.”

The commemorative medal, created to mark the 60th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne, is being awarded to 60,000 Canadians who have made a significant contribution to the country, to their community or to their fellow Canadians.

Fire Chief Ken Block said the recognition is a “testament to the outstanding service all members of the fire service provide our city.”

"Twenty-six members of Edmonton Fire Rescue are being bestowed with the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee medal. This is a tremendous honour for these individuals and as fire chief it makes me incredibly proud to recognize this success," Block said.

“This type of recognition reinforces Edmonton Fire Rescue’s reputation as one of the most respected departments in North America."