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Hospital Safety Director Prepared for Everything

Days before Hurricane Irene flooded roads and left thousands of Westchester residents without electricity, John Martin was at Lawrence Hospital Center in Bronxville preparing for an emergency.

“We had a full command center established in a conference room on the first floor,” said its director of safety and security. “We managed the entire hurricane.”

As the emergency management coordinator for the hospital, Martin planned for potential power outages, flooding and staff availability. He borrowed a 250 gallon-per-minute pump to drain the lower level of the parking lot, which he says has a tendency to fill with water during heavy storms. That device came in handy when one of Lawrence Hospital Center's machine rooms filled with water unexpectedly.

When the hurricane arrived on Saturday afternoon, his pre-storm preparation quickly became a response plan. That meant keeping an eye out for water damage, monitoring the generator and providing sleeping arrangements for staff members who weren't able to go home.

“You always kind of have to be ready for what’s going to come,” he said.

On a daily basis, Martin is responsible for keeping the patients, visitors and staff at Lawrence Hospital Center safe. In his off-time, he shifts gears to the basketball court, where he practices teamwork in a different way.

Martin is the head coach for the girls varsity basketball team at Preston High School in the Bronx.  This season, he has led his team to a 19-4 record. He also coaches his son’s CYO basketball team at St. Barnabas Church in the Bronx.

Of his 20 year-coaching career, he says, “I like the competition aspect and being able to develop a group of kids into a team.”

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