Advanced care paramedic Byron Tyrer, who saved families affected by a Russell Island house fire, has been recognised for his efforts as a finalist in the QBANK Everyday Heroes awards.
Byron was the first on scene at the fire on August 6 where a father and his five young boys lost their lives.
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.
He 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 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 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.”
The six award categories are achievement, ownership, dedication, working together, excellence and the young everyday hero award.
The 2023 Everyday Heroes Award winners will be recognised at the annual awards dinner at the W Hotel Brisbane on October 27.