Talking about fires around the dinig room table

IN THE FAMILY: Chief Superintendant for Brisbane Michael Dwyer flanked by sons Ryan and Samuel, proudly carrying the family tradition and suggesting that people make careful personal fire prevention plans.
IN THE FAMILY: Chief Superintendant for Brisbane Michael Dwyer flanked by sons Ryan and Samuel, proudly carrying the family tradition and suggesting that people make careful personal fire prevention plans.

The fires may have abated, but firefighter Michael Dwyer, 58, of Wellington Point said planning towards better prevention and management was still a hot issue.

Thinking about fires and fire prevention is something Mr Dwyer talks about around the dining room table, as the son of a fireman and with two sons following suit.

As Chief Superintendent for Brisbane, Mr Dwyer and his son Ryan, 22, of Redland Bay are both based at Kedron, while son Samuel, 25 works as a fire fighter at Roma Street station.

Ryan, a former member of the Cleveland SES, works as a fire communications offficer and was recently deployed to assist with fire in central Queensland. Samuel is a current member of Cleveland SES, Ripley Valley rural fire service, training coordinator for team Rubicon and is currently deployed to the National Crisis coordination centre and to the flood recovery in Houston, Texas.

Mr Dwyer's father Greg, formerly of Birkdale died at age 64 in 1997, after serving at Cleveland and Capalaba stations.

"Working as a fire fighter is the best job out. Once you mainly attended lots of home fires but now firies are involved in rescue, chemical incidents and road crashes. But more than that there is a lot of preparedness and planning that goes with the job," he said.

As a past area commander with the Cleveland office (2007-2009) and zone commander for South Brisbane (2010-2014) and current member of the Raby Bay volunteer marine rescue, Mr Dwyer said the Redland plan was progressive and forward thinking.

But he urged residents to create their own plans and do preparation ahead of fires. This includes checking that smoke alarms work, that children are safe, that gutters and downpipes are cleared and trees trimmed.

"Look at what nature can throw at you and think of ways to minimise the impact," he said.

"Recent events have been uncharacteristic and unprecedented. The world is heating up and we need to think differently about how to deal with a disaster. This is a whole community issue," he said.

"It is hard to describe a flame that is 60 to 80 metres high, spread with cyclonic winds and with crumbling clouds. The winds shift and there is a loss of wildlife and eco systems. We need to work together to mitigate against these events. Redlands might have a good fire prevention plan, but we should never become complacent," he said.

Mr Dwyer said complacency could lead to the loss of what is a unique local eco system.

"We have Mount Cotton and Moreton Bay. There is a lot of agriculture and industry, but there is also the bay itself and the islands and the cultural heritage. This needs to be protected," he said.

Information is available through the Queensland Fire and State Emergency services.