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BSI's ERT team practices fire fighting. [PHOTO: BSI]

Tujuh Bukit Gold Mine’s Emergency Response Team

The ERT team is at the forefront of disaster management at the site. However, their service is not limited within the fence of mining operations.

The task of PT Bumi Suksesindo’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) is not only on site. They must also be ready to volunteer in the event of a disaster outside the site, both in the Banyuwangi area and outside Banyuwangi. To this day, PT BSI’s ERT has been deployed in several disaster locations, including the flood in Songgon, the flood in Ringinagung, the tsunami in Pandeglang, the earthquake in Palu, and the earthquake in Aceh. During their external assignment, ERT helps the evacuation process, distributes basic necessities, cleans up the remnants of damage, and others as needed.

“Usually we are sent for eight to ten days, with eight to sixteen people,” said PT BSI’s ERT captain, Edy Sunaryono, or who is often called Yoyon.

In each location, ERT always works under the coordination of the National Disaster Management Agency. The team sent from Banyuwangi is used to combing the most affected points and rescuing victims trapped in the rubble of buildings. That’s why ERT members are not only paramedics, but also heavy equipment operators.

Being a volunteer means being ready to face high-risk conditions. The team experienced interesting stories as well as challenges while volunteering, one of which was when they volunteered for the earthquake disaster in Palu in 2018. While there, the team felt several aftershocks. ERT who left for Lombok in 2018 also had a similar experience tasting the aftershocks that were quite frightening. In addition, they had run out of supplies.

“The challenge is more like a test of guts, really. It’s like, when everyone runs away from the disaster, we come closer,” said Yoyon.

According to Yoyon, the risk must be faced. At first it was not easy, including convincing families who were very worried when they left for the disaster site. One thing that strengthens the heart of ERT BSI is the fact that some of its members are local Banyuwangi residents who have experienced the disaster firsthand, so there is a solidarity that has been built by itself.

Pesanggaran sub-district, where PT BSI operates, is one of the areas that has the potential to be disaster-prone. The landscape of Pesanggaran is quite diverse, from the coast to the hills, making some areas have the potential to experience disasters, ranging from floods, landslides, to tsunamis. The tsunami that occurred in 1994 is still clearly remembered by the people in Pesanggaran. Of the five villages in Pesanggaran District, four of them are disaster-prone areas, namely Sumberagung, Pesanggaran, Kandangan, and Sarongan.

“The four villages have formed a disaster-resilient team, all of whose members are ready to volunteer,” said Anang Supriyadi, one of Tagana’s activists and volunteers.

Disaster response awareness and attitude must be owned by all communities. Starting to recognize the signs of a disaster, to knowing the mitigation steps when a disaster strikes.

This is where ERT has a role as a facilitator in the Disaster Risk & Simulation Study program, one of which was carried out in early 2020 at the Kandangan Village Hall and continued on the hillside of Sumberdadi Hamlet for field practice. In this training organized by the Disaster Risk Reduction Forum, ERT taught techniques as well as hands-on practice in terms of moving to a safe place for erosion victims, such as the use of rigging, stretchers, and the first aid process. What is exciting is that in every training, the participants always show high enthusiasm, even though at first some people take the training material lightly.

“Through this training, the volunteers are expected to become more resilient, responsive, and agile people,” said Anang. In addition to providing training to volunteers who incidentally are adults, according to Anang the training should also be for children because they have high memory and a sense of sensitivity. “Aware that disasters are the responsibility of various parties, both from the government, the community, as well as business entities. The three pillars must synergize and be balanced, “added Anang. Therefore, the existence of training can also increase the preparedness of various parties.

“Hopefully when we return to the community, we can have a positive impact and contribute to managing risk management,” said Andi Jurito, a volunteer from Sumberagung.

A mining company like BSI must have an ERT. Without them, the mine cannot be operated. ERT members themselves consist of selected personnel from each department and are specially trained by BASARNAS (National Search and Rescue Agency). Every day, if there is no emergency, they do exercise and sports. Apart from that, what they routinely do include overseeing the implementation of alarm and shutdown tests, as well as being alert if there are events that require alertness such as landslides.

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