On May 22, 2011, Matt Hutchison, 24, and his co-workers were finishing their workday at a Joplin, Mo., hospital when they were told to prepare for an approaching tornado.
The power failed and the high winds blew dangerous debris down the hospital corridors. Hutchison led several people into a small hallway and shielded them as the tornado shook the building.
As the worst of the storm passed, the people with Hutchison were surprised by his calm demeanor.
He told them his Scouting experience prepared him for situations like this.
When a maintenance worker told everyone to leave because of a gas leak, Hutchison helped with first aid as they moved to a storage room.
Hutchison met a doctor and nurses when he went to an office and tried to call for help. He led them to the storage room and gave them important details about the people in need of medical attention.
In the aftermath of the tornado, Hutchison continued to help by retrieving medical supplies and oxygen. He returned home safely later that night.
Eagle Scout John Matthew Hutchison, a committee member of Troop 10 in Joplin, Mo., received an Honor Medal With Crossed Palms for his actions. It is Scouting’s highest award for bravery.
“Scouters in Action” subjects come from the National BSA Court of Honor. If you know of an act of heroism that should be recognized, contact your local BSA council office for a lifesaving or meritorious award application. Note: Consult approved safety guidelines, as actions depicted here may not precisely follow standard procedures.