Unveiling the Heroic Act: The Remarkable Story Behind the Life-Saving Photograph of Electricians in Peril

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Posted August 15, 2023 by: Admin #Wow

Back in 1968, a Pulitzer Prize-winning photograph captured a moment of unanticipated heroism that unfolded on a scorching day. The Pulitzer Prize, one of the most esteemed accolades in the United States, recognized the achievements in music, cinema, theater, and journalism of the image’s creator.



The snapshot depicts two electricians, Randall Champion and Jay Thompson, suspended from a power pole. The day seemed like any other, with the relentless heat of July 1967 pervading the state of Florida. Air conditioners droned in the background, an inconspicuous source of an impending predicament. The city of Jacksonville experienced a strain on its power lines due to the collective use of these devices, resulting in a sudden power surge.

Randall and Jay were diligently conducting routine maintenance on a live power line when an inadvertent touch caused catastrophe. A staggering 4000 volts surged through Randall’s body, abruptly stopping his heart. To put this into perspective, a mere 2000 volts are used in an electric chair execution.


Randall’s lifeless form hung suspended, saved only by his harness. In this dire moment, Jay’s quick thinking prevailed. Despite the awkward circumstances, he initiated artificial respiration right atop the power pole. The situation was far from ideal for standard resuscitation, yet Jay persevered, coaxing a faint pulse back into existence.

Only then did he detach his partner’s safety equipment, hoisting him over his shoulder before descending to the ground. When professional photographer Rocco Morabito, coincidentally present at the scene, alerted rescuers, Champion had regained consciousness.

J.D. Thompson holds iconic photo in 1967 (PHOTO: FIrst Coast News)


Jay’s valiant efforts not only saved Randall but also gifted him an additional 35 years of life. Tragically, Randall Champion passed away in 2003 at the age of 64. Jay Thompson, the unwavering hero of this saga, continues to live on today.



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