QBANK Celebrates Dedication of Everyday Heroes
Ahead of the 2023 QBANK Everyday Heroes Awards on Friday 27th October 2023, we celebrate our 22 finalists across 6 categories. Today, we look at the three finalists in the 'Dedication' category. This category looks at an individual who has shown extreme dedication to the lives of those around them.
Byron Tyrer - Queensland Ambulance Service
BRAVE PARAMEDIC AT FATAL FIRE A FINALIST IN EVERYDAY HERO AWARDS
A courageous paramedic who saved families from a “horrific” house fire has been recognised for his heroic efforts as a finalist in the QBANK Everyday Heroes Awards. Advanced Care Paramedic Byron Tyrer was the first on scene at a Russell Island house fire on August 6 where a father and his five young boys were killed.
He is one of 22 finalists selected from across the state for the awards which celebrate the exceptional achievements of people within Queensland Police, Fire, Health, Ambulance, Corrections, Justice, Public Service, Education and volunteers. Byron is one of three finalists in the Dedication category.
Byron was awake early the morning of the fire when he received the call for help and used his experience as a police officer and a firefighter to assess the risk and assist neighbouring properties, saving lives in just 11-minutes before other emergency services arrived.
“It is the most horrific job I have attended in my career. It was emotionally tolling. It was intensely hot and very difficult to breathe,” Byron said. “It’s a really helpless feeling to know there’s people in there and there is nothing physically you can do to get in there without being killed yourself.
“I was able to safely remove a family of three and their pets from the property across the road. I then returned to their house to retrieve their father who was asleep. I don’t remember thinking about my own safety, I was on autopilot getting people out of that situation so no one else was injured. It was so tragic already I didn’t want it to get any worse.”
He recently received recognition for his bravery at the annual Commissioner’s Achievement Awards.
Byron has dedicated his career to emergency services, working in New South Wales as a triple-zero call taker and dispatcher, police officer and on-call firefighter, and in Victoria and Queensland as a paramedic. He has had many highlights over the years, including reviving patients in cardiac arrest and delivering babies, as well as more difficult situations like fatal car crashes, stabbings, and structural fires.
Byron said his role was incredibly unique.
“As a paramedic we enter people’s lives in some of the most difficult circumstances and work to provide life-saving interventions to get people the best care possible,” he said. “I am rewarded each and every day knowing that someone I have treated receives the care they need, and that I did everything possible to get the right outcome for my patients.”
Byron said he was humbled to be named a finalist in the QBANK Everyday Hero Awards.
“I feel very warmed knowing someone has nominated me,” he said. “I feel like there are many more worthy people who go about their work and lives every day. I am no exception to anyone else.”
Russell Stanford - Queensland Corrections Service
SCENIC RIM’S EVERYDAY HERO LEADING FARMING REHABILITATION FACILITY
A Queensland Corrections officer and passionate farmer who is helping prisoners pave a path towards crime-free futures has been recognised for his efforts as a finalist in the QBANK Everyday Heroes Awards. Corrections Officer Russell Stanford is one of 22 finalists selected from across the state for the awards which celebrate the exceptional achievements of people within Queensland Police, Fire, Health, Ambulance, Corrections, Justice, Public Service, Education and volunteers. He is one of three finalists in the Dedication category.
As the Custodial Correctional Officer at the Palen Creek Low Custody Farm, Russell trains and assists prisoners in building fences, propagating plants in the nursery, landscape engineering and forestry management on the 600 acre Scenic Rim property.
Russell said after 23 years in Corrections, he found those who worked on the farm prided themselves in being a hardworking, dedicated outfit.
“Palen Creek has cattle, a bush tucker garden, nursery, wood and metal workshops where prisoners can build their employable skills,” he said. “In partnership with education providers like TAFE and other NGOS, we endeavour to provide prisoners with practical and theoretical training. This fosters personal growth and paves a path towards a brighter, crime-free future.”
In his six years at Palen Creek, Russell said he had grown bushtucker plants, kept native stingless bees, initiated erosion strategies to repair landslips on the farm and planted a carbon sequestration forest to deliver effective, practical and immediate climate mitigation strategies.
“I have always had an interest in conservation and bushland revegetation, in particular growing bush tucker plants. After finishing Agricultural College I worked in nurseries before joining QCS,” Russell said. “What I like about my job is that every day is different and interesting.
“I enjoy making a positive change to prisoners’ lives and I am grateful I have the opportunity to grow new crops at Palen Creek.”
Russell said he was humbled and honoured to be named a finalist in the QBANK Everyday Heroes Awards.
“It is always good to be recognised for hard work and initiatives and QCS has been very supportive of my efforts,” he said. “It is also important to recognise that it is a team effort and I am grateful for the support I have received from my manager and other officers.”
Ethyn Vit - Queensland Fire and Emergency Services
DEDICATED IPSWICH VOLUNTEER A FINALIST IN EVERYDAY HEROES AWARDS
A Young Ipswich Volunteer who has answered the call of duty and stepped up to lend a hand to his community has been recognised for his unwavering commitment as a finalist in the QBANK Everyday Heroes Awards. Ethyn Vit is one of 22 finalists selected from across the state for the awards which celebrate the exceptional achievements of people within Queensland Police, Fire, Health, Ambulance, Corrections, Justice, Public Service, Education and volunteers. He is one of three finalists in the Dedication category.
The 19-year-old joined the SES three years ago and engages with storm damage operations, search and rescue, land search and community education.
Ethyn said the role provided experiences most other people his age would not normally be exposed to.
“Much of the work you do in orange is unlike anything you will do in any other aspect of your life,” he said. “From multi-agency search and rescue jobs to community support requests, every task offers something new.”
Family and friends of Ethyn rallied around their mate and he received multiple nominations for the awards. They highlight some of his heroic efforts, including dedicating nine days straight to helping people across south-east Queensland during floods in 2022 and patient extractions from mountains. Ethyn said he felt privileged to be named a finalist.
“SES members do not volunteer for recognition, there is always a warming feeling which comes with acknowledgment,” he said. “This tells me that I have made a difference through my service, and that is something I find quite motivating.”
He said the most rewarding part of the job was seeing the Ipswich community come together in times of need.
“After every job, and especially during major events, it is extremely rewarding to see the number of completed jobs,” Ethyn said.
“Behind every one is a thankful family who can sleep easy knowing their leaky ceiling will stay up during the night, or stressed parents who can relax knowing their child was found.”