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FORT MYERS | Protecting Southwest Florida athletes in the heat

Zach Martin Act
Posted at 3:51 PM, Sep 15, 2023
and last updated 2023-09-15 19:07:38-04

FORT MYERS, Fla. — The importance of protecting Southwest Florida athletes from the danger of heat-related illnesses belongs to Zach Martin.

Zach was a 16-year-old Riverdale High School football player who collapsed during practice and died of a heat stroke.

The tragedy sparked the Zachary Martin Act, a state law that required schools to use safety tools like a wet bulb globe thermometer.

The wet bulb globe thermometer is a device Fox 4 told you about last month that helps coaches decide if it’s safe to practice outside.

Back then, Ty Roland, a senior partner for the firm of Aloia, Roland, Lubell & Morgan, PLLC who represented Zachary Martin's family in 2017 told Fox 4 he would buy a wet bulb globe thermometer for any team that needs one.

“Well we got a call from the school where you were that night,” said Roland.

That school was Fort Myers High School and on our way to deliver the device Fox 4 spoke with Laurie Martin Giordano, Zach Martin's mother.

“It's such a blessing for me to know that he is still continuing to protect kids,” said Giordano.

Giordano started the Zach Martin Foundationwhich she said consistently goes out and helps programs get the safety tools they need.

“Whether they have the budget or not is not up for discussion we don't even ask,” said Giordano.

So when Fort Myers High School's Athletic Director, Steven Cato said they needed a second wet bulb globe thermometer, Roland and Giordano delivered.

“We share this reading with all of our coaches all the way from cross country to football, cheer, and band,” said Cato.