Talking someone out of committing suicide is not a politician’s job, but the deputy regent of Purwakarta in the Indonesian province of West Java has been lauded a hero for doing just that.
In a series of videos posted on his official Instagram, Purwakarta Deputy Regent Haji Aming yesterday climbed up a cell phone tower in the regency after a man had previously ascended the tower along with his young daughter.
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Siang tadi dalam suatu kunjungan ke wilayah Kecamatan Cibatu, beberapa warga menyampaikan kepada saya bahwa ada percobaan bunuh diri. Tanpa berpikir panjang saya langsung menuju lokasi yang dimaksud. Menurut penuturan warga, pria berinisial IS (35) ini depresi akibat putri pertamanya meninggal dunia, serta digugat cerai oleh istrinya, hingga Ia nekat memanjat tower operator seluler dengan menggendong putrinya yang masih balita. Saya berinisiatif untuk naik ke atas tower dibantu petugas dari Dinas Pemadam Kebakaran dan Penanggulangan Bencana beserta warga lainnya, berusaha melakukan negosiasi agar Pelaku IS mau turun. Tak lupa saya mengajak istri pelaku agar membujuknya dari bawah tower dengan harapan percobaan bunuh diri ini dapat digagalkan. Setelah berhasil dibujuk, Pelaku IS dan putrinya langsung dibawa ke Puskesmas Cibatu untuk dilakukan perawatan.
“According to locals, the man, identified as IS (35), is depressed because his first daughter passed away and his wife has filed for divorce. So he dared to climb a cell phone tower while carrying his young toddler daughter,” Aming wrote in the caption above.
“I took the initiative to climb the tower with the help of the Fire Department and Disaster Mitigation Agency as well as other locals. We tried to negotiate with IS so he would come down. I also asked his wife to plead with him from the ground with the hope that we could prevent a suicide,” he continued.
By the third slide of the video, a civilian is seen carrying IS’ daughter down from the tower, after which Aming himself climbs the ladder up the tower to help install a harness on IS, who appears to have passed out by this point. In the last slide, the crowd cheers as IS is slowly lowered down to safety.
As heroic as Aming’s actions may have been, it’s always best to leave life-and-death situations like these to trained professionals for the sake of the safety of all involved. Aming himself did not offer any explanation as to why he, a civilian whose official job title is not that of emergency responder, decided to help save IS beyond saying, “I did not think twice and immediately went to the location” when he first heard that a man was threatening to commit suicide.
Both IS and his young daughter were immediately taken to a local clinic for treatment following the attempted suicide.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from depression and/or contemplating suicide, you can get help from several local NGOs dealing with mental health and suicide prevention, such as saveyourselves.id.