2 June 2006

Segitiga Kehidupan… Atau Kematian?

Posted under: at 15:34

Setelah musibah Gempa Yogyakarta (dan Gempa Nias terdahulu) terjadi, ada sebuah surat berantai yang banyak beredar di milis-milis. Surat berantai ini berjudul kurang lebih ‘Segitiga Kehidupan -Bagaimana Menyelamatkan Diri Dari Gempa’. Intinya jika terjadi gempa berlindunglah di samping benda yang berukuran besar, dan jangan berlindung di bawah sesuatu. Isi lengkap dari email itu bisa dilihat misalnya di milis IndoFirstAid.

Tetapi apakah melakukan hal tersebut ketika gempa terjadi adalah ide yang bagus?

Pesan tersebut merupakan terjemahan dari email berantai serupa yang ditulis dalam Bahasa Inggris, judul aslinya adalah “Triangle of Life”. Penulisnya adalah Doug Copp, seseorang yang mengaku sebagai pimpinan dari the American Rescue Team International (ARTI), sebuah organisasi tim penyelamat yang paling berpengalaman di dunia.

Taktik ‘Drop, Cover, and Hold On’ adalah sebuah taktik standar yang umum diajarkan ke penduduk daerah-daerah yang rawan gempa di Amerika Serikat. Beberapa daerah di Amerika Serikat melatih siswa sekolah untuk melakukan taktik ini sebagai persiapan menghadapi bencana gempa. Sedangkan Doug Copp pada dasarnya mengatakan bahwa “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” adalah taktik yang berbahaya, dan menganjurkan taktik “Triangle of Life”.

Rocky Lopes, Ph.D, dari Palang Merah Amerika Serikat mengatakan bahwa taktik “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” menyelamatkan jiwa, dan bukan sebaliknya.

We contend that “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” indeed SAVED lives, not killed people. Because the research continues to demonstrate that, in the U.S., “Drop, Cover, and Hold On!” works, the American Red Cross remains behind that recommendation. It is the simplest, reliable, and easiest method to teach people, including children.

The American Red Cross has not recommended use of a doorway for earthquake protection for more than a decade. The problem is that many doorways are not built into the structural integrity of a building, and may not offer protection. Also, simply put, doorways are not suitable for more than one person at a time.

Walaupun demikian, Rocky Lopes juga berpesan bahwa taktik “Drop, Cover, and Hold On” cocok untuk daerah Amerika Serikat sesuai dengan standar pembuatan bangunan yang dianut Amerika Serikat. Dan taktik ini belum tentu sesuai dengan kondisi pada negara lain.

Pesan dari Marla Petal, Ph.D. –peneliti di Institus Penelitian Gempa Bumi, Universitas Bogaziçi, Turki– bernada lebih keras lagi: Douglas Copp – Worse Than Urban Legend: Dangerous Advice! And Now For Some Good Advice for Earthquake Safety.

In case you don’t have time to read all of Linthicum’s articles, I think it fair to summarize that she tracked sources across the country and across the world. The pithiest quotes:

  • NY Fire Dept Chief John Normal, in charge of the rescue and recovery effort calls Copp’s claims of heroism at ground zero “a fraud” and “a bald-faced liar”.
  • Chase Sargent, Virginia Beach VA fire battalion chief and FEMA task force member “Anybody who’s legitimate in this business knows who this knucklehead is”
  • T. H. Lang, publisher of Albuquerque Journal – began to detect that Copp’s story “sounded arrogant, braggadocio. It was astoundingly preposterous.”
  • Stephen Lentz, New Mexico Archeologist was writing a screenplay about Copp, but says “he didn’t do anything”, that he “blackened his face by rubbing soot on it, so he would look like he had been in a dangerous place”. Lentz now likens him to a circus promoter and says, “I think basically he was a fraud and a bombast”.
  • Ron Hadani, volunteer who Copp said would vouch for him said of what he observed, “it was not serious rescue work”

Marla Petal yang berasal dari Turki –tempat dimana Cobb melakukan ‘percobaan’ yang selalu disebut-sebut tersebut– juga mengatakan:

No less gullible than the rest Turkish rescue volunteers of AKUT and many others in the media gravitated to Copp’s sensationalist claims. In Turkey, following the devastating 1999 Kocaeli earthquake, this led to disinformation on a massive scale. Based on Copp’s so-called “evidence”, mass media outlets publicized the advice to “get down next to a refrigerator”, “get out of your carand get down by it”, “assume a fetal position” and “make a big box of books or newspaper” to crouch down next to in case of earthquake.

For those of us who are researchers and public educators in the field of earthquake mitigation and preparedness, Copp’s advice is plainly dangerous. But now that Doug Copp has gotten your attention about earthquake safety, I’d like to address some of the claims he makes that may have piqued your curiosity – because it’s always good to hone our ability to think critically – and there are things you can and should do to be safer from earthquakes.

Albuquerque Journal juga pernah membuat sebuah serial artikel tentang Doug Copp dan klaim-klaimnya: New Mexican’s Claims of Ground Zero Rescue Work Called Into Question.

Self-proclaimed rescue guru Doug Copp’s mission to ground zero was considered so important that he had clearance to be flown to New York even though all civilian air traffic in the United States had been grounded. Once there, he says he assumed a pivotal role and sustained devastating injuries while wading through the “toxic soup” in search of survivors and victims, and was awarded nearly $650,000 for his injuries. But there is little evidence Copp performed real rescue work, and it is doubtful that he deserves compensation.

Pesan email berantai memang biasanya mengganggu, tetapi yang satu ini mungkin bisa merengut jiwa pembacanya.

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