With a blizzard raging outside his window, the last thing Scott Hatcher expected on a Sunday evening was a knock on his door.
Scott lives on the grounds of the Kemper Outdoor Education Center, so someone knocking on his door is unusual, especially in bad weather. When he opened the door, he found a man lying at his doorstep in distress. He had been hunting on land nearby and had stepped in a hole covered by snow. The man was soaking wet and nearly hypothermic.
Scott immediately removed the man’s wet outer layer of clothing, gave him water to rehydrate and blankets to warm him up. The hunter shared that he had crawled nearly 400 yards through the woods to get to Scott's door and asked that he call the man's son to pick him up.
When the man’s son arrived, Scott helped carry him to the car. Scott later found out that the man had broken one of his ankles and torn some ligaments.
(L-R: Parks+Rec Deputy Director Brian Nowotny, Scott Hatcher, County Executive Frank White, Jr.)
He said he has talked to the man and his son several times since the incident and that he had surgery and is doing well. “I’m just glad I was home, because he wouldn’t have made it much further,” Scott said.
According to John Johnson, Superintendent of Parks Operations, “Scott's quick action helped the man receive needed medical attention and Scott's immediate care helped save the hunter from suffering serious cold-related injuries.”
Scott started with the Jackson County Parks + Rec Department in 1986 and was promoted to foreman in 2011. He performs inspections, reporting and/or repairing general repairs throughout the park system from Fort Osage to Lone Jack to the Polo Fields at Kenneth Road. He also works with term and supply contractors for repairs. Scott was part of the original crew that started Christmas in the Park.
He currently rents a home at Kemper and as part of his duties he is on call 24 hours a day for any alarms or issues on the grounds of Kemper Outdoor Education Center.
“Scott is very responsive to internal and external customers, working diligently to make sure the parks system facilities are safe,” Johnson said.