Natchez Trace Parkway Presents First Annual Frank Hadorn Safety Award

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TUPELO, MS:  Tractor Operator Jason Burney at Leipers Fork received the first annual Frank Hadorn Safety Award. The Parkway created the award to honor the life and service of Maintenance Worker Frank Hadorn from the Dancy Subdistrict (2012-2018). Hadorn was known for his commitment to his fellow employees’ and visitors’ safety. Donations in memory of Frank, who was killed by a distracted driver on the Parkway last summer, fund the award.

“We are so pleased to present this award to Jason because he epitomizes the dedication to safety that Frank demonstrated every day,” stated Superintendent Mary Risser. “Jason is a dedicated government employee who devotes his time to ensuring that he and his coworkers have the best safety equipment, practice situational analysis, and are fully trained. He is resolute in his endeavor for safety excellence.”

Left to right – Joe Smith, Jill Hadorn (Frank Hadorn’s wife), and Jason Burney
NPS Photo

Leipers Fork Maintenance Mechanic Joe Smith explained that Burney consistently adheres to and demonstrates the highest standards of safety beyond what is required. On a daily basis, Burney inspects all safety equipment that is required to perform his daily tasks. He applies safety concepts throughout the day on all work events – regardless of project size and complexity. He conducts a short safety briefing at the start of each work day, assesses unanticipated situations, and makes adjustments as necessitated by changing circumstances. Burney’s leadership, dedication to safety, and devotion to duty are most heartedly in keeping with the highest standards of the National Park Service.

On numerous occasions, Burney has identified and removed hazardous trees that could affect motorists, bicyclists, and pedestrians on the Parkway. The Leipers Fork subdistrict’s road has many curves and a high concentration of bicyclists. To ensure the safety of bicyclists, Burney takes it upon himself to manicure the trees and remove branches that could obstruct the view of the road; these actions open up the sight distance exiting curves which allow the motorist additional time to see and react to cyclists.   

“One thing that makes this award so special is that non-supervisory employees are nominated by their peers for the award,” continued Risser. Thus, Jason’s co-workers saw his commitment to safety on a daily basis, just as Frank’s co-workers did with him each day, and recognized all that he does to ensure his co-workers’, visitors’ and his safety.”