One's first impression chatting with Peter Helfrich is of a man on a mission who's emotionally connected to local issues. Little time passes before the Liberal contender for MLA of Banff-Cochrane shares his recipe for change. Helfrich, who grew up in Bragg Creek, has 20 years of experience in health care as a paramedic to offer the position. He feels that having the "determination, courage, patience and empathy" required every day on the job bodes well in tackling the sensitive issues that need to be discussed with residents of the riding.

The significance of one issue - emergency medical services, resonates loudly with Helfrich, particularly the shift from having been a municipally-operated service to a provincial one which he calls "a degradation of service", grounded by experience as a flight paramedic and a 911 dispatcher.

A passionate traveller, Helfrich lives in Calgary and started with the city’s EMS in 1990. He's provided his skills and medical expertise to people of the Thailand/Myanmar border on two occasions, first in 2000 and again in 2006.

Helfrich has also worked with the aboriginal community, a venture he says got him involved in politics in the first place.

On the current provincial government, Helfrich states “Over the years we’ve seen cracks in the foundation", alleging that Alberta premier Alison Redford is perhaps not about all the change she claims to be. He goes as far as to suggest some of the PC candidates are “more liberal than they would like to admit.”

Helfrich stresses that being "in the middle" is the only way to get things sorted out.