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Hudson Valley Hospital Center Makes it Through Hurricane Irene

Hudson Valley Hospital Center made it through Hurricane Irene relatively unscathed thanks to advance preparation and the dedication of hospital employees.

More than 100 hospital employees were at work by 8 a.m. Sunday. About 50 employees had spent the night at the hospital Saturday to ensure sufficient staffing levels.

"Fortunately, there were no major problems due to the storm,'' said John C. Federspiel, President of Hudson Valley Hospital Center. "I want to thank the dedicated employees who worked so hard to prepare for the storm, as well as those who went the extra mile to get to work when they were needed.'' 

Federspiel said he was able to personally thank many staff members on Sunday morning when he and other administrators came in to check on conditions. He said there was only minor flooding that did not affect patient care and only one minor storm-related emergency room visit early Sunday morning.

For the past two days, HVHC staff had been working with town, county, EMS agencies and other hospitals to make sure emergency procedures would work seamlessly when the storm arrived.

Justin Costable, EMS Coordinator and Emergency Management Director at HVHC, said the hospital was prepared with backup generators, extra supplies of food and water and had gone over evacuation and triage procedures with weekend staff.

The Hospital coordinated with other hospitals and EMS agencies on bed capacity in case HVHC needed to take in evacuated patients from other hospitals. All facilities and their systems were checked and alternate transportation was arranged for employees who could not drive to work.

Costable said a command center was set up at the Hospital to manage staffing and monitor the facility. Fortunately, there were no major incidents.