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Kemar ‘Doggy’ Campbell is being labelled a hero by his Trench Town community after he climbed a utility pole yesterday to assist a Jamaica Public Service (JPS) contractor who had been electrocuted and was hanging helplessly while surrounded by live wires.
Campbell, 30, who is an upholsterer with no experience in electrical work, kept the contractor stable until firefighters arrived. The contractor was part of a team that was attempting to restore power to Eighth Street in Arnett Gardens, Kingston 12. Residents said that sometime after 10 a.m., they heard an explosion and seconds later saw Scott dangling. Only clad in a pair of slippers, white T-shirt, and green pants, Campbell climbed the pole. He said one of the contractor’s co-workers brought a ladder but it was too short.
“So mi tell him to reverse the van and mi put the ladder on top of the van. When mi go up deh mi realise say mi nuh have nutten fi hold him suh mi go back down fi one a mi sound box rope and tie round him,” he said. Campbell said he thought about cutting the man’s belt, but feared that he might fall. So he waited for help to take him down.
“Mi up dere for a while a hold up him head until the fire truck come and everybody come in and we cut him down. He couldn’t move, shirt drop offa him and him a batta. Bare tings a drop inna him face with bare fire,” he said. Residents later took the man to hospital.
But even as residents praised Campbell and the other men, they blasted members of the Jamaica Fire Brigade who they said were not prepared to render assistance. They said firemen took an hour to arrive and their ladder was too short.