Kiss of Life

The Kiss of Life

Posted by cocreator on August 12, 2013
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Rocco Morabito, a journalist with the (now defunct) Jacksonville Journal in Florida USA, was driving back to his newsroom one summer’s day in July 1967 when he passed a group of utility workers by the side of the road, shouting about an unconscious, electrocuted co-worker who was dangling from a power pole, after having received a 4,000 volt charge of electricity.

Randall Champion the Survivor with J.D. Thompson the Saviour 1967

Morabito used his car’s two-way radio to notify emergency services and then took a photograph of the scene, an image which hit newspaper front pages around the world and eventually led to Morabito being awarded the Pulitzer Prize the following year.

Randall Champion the Survivor with J.D. Thompson the Saviour and Photographer Rocco Morabito 1988

The picture shows a senior lineman, J.D. Thompson, giving mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to 29-year-old apprentice lineman Randall Champion, and subsequently saving his life – the first time such a method of resuscitation had been widely publicized, and which was dubbed “The Kiss Of Life” by the Copy Editor of the Jacksonville Journal, Bob Pate. It’s now, of course, a term widely used throughout the world.

Randall Champion suffered a second major electric shock 20 years later which left him partially paralyzed, but he lived on until 2002, when he died of heart failure at the age of 64. This photograph shows him in hospital after his second accident in 1988, being visited by Rocco Morabito and J.D. Thompson.

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