News 12 - September 10, 2019
As the anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks nears, the Uniformed Firefighters Association is reminding people not to forget.
The group tells News 12 that three first responders are in hospice, many are in critical condition and thousands of others are sick. It says that about two-thirds of first responders currently have at least one certified health condition related to their work at the World Trade Center that day. That’s roughly 10,000 FDNY members.
The group also says there are over 2,077 confirmed cancer cases caused by toxins that were breathed in by first responders at Ground Zero. A total of 343 firefighters died on 9/11, and more than 200 have died as a result of their exposure to toxic substances while serving in response and recovery.
The federal government reauthorized the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund just a few months ago. It was a battle, with many congressional leaders nationwide arguing over the bill until it was passed. The president of UFA says it may just seem like money, but it's a great relief for firefighters to know their families will be taken care of.
Gerard Fitzgerald, of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, says there is still a long road ahead. Fitzgerald says the organization fields calls every single day with first responders in various stages of illness.