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    Unhappy Bush Ignores Sick 9/11 Firefighters

    June 2004 -- Over the last month, President Bush has repeatedly recounted how he was inspired by "the courage of the firefighters" [1] in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. He recounted how, when standing atop a pile of rubble at Ground Zero, he was told by a firefighter, "Don't let me down" [2]. But more than two years later, he continues to ignore the needs of firefighters who are now suffering adverse health effects from their rescue efforts at Ground Zero. The situation has reached a head: yesterday, 1,700 cops and firefighters were forced to sue in court for the medical help they desperately need [3].

    While the President's very first campaign commercial used photos of coffin draped corpses [4] being pulled from the rubble, the White House has sought to hide evidence that Ground Zero firefighters were exposed to hazardous toxins. Specifically, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) intervened to doctor EPA press releases [5] that were supposed to warn the public about toxins near Ground Zero. The press releases were modified to claim that the air was safe - despite the fact that there was not adequate scientific evidence to substantiate that claim. The CEQ was headed by James Connaughton, a former asbestos industry lawyer who represented companies in toxic pollution cases [6].

    When Ground Zero firefighters began getting sick, the White House tried to block $90 million in funding [7] for medical treatment. When Congress forced the Administration to accept the $90 million, the Administration then delayed the money [8] and threatened to shut down the health-screening program. Even today, the New York Police Department has been denied much needed health grants [9].

    Sources:
    1. Remarks by the President at Victory 2004 Luncheon, 04/20/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1322174&l=37090. 2. Remarks by the President to the American Conservative Union 40th Anniversary Gala, 05/13/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1322174&l=37091. 3. "1,700 sue over 9/11 sickness", New York Daily News, 05/24/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1322174&l=37092. 4. "President Bush: Don't use my husband as your mascot", Salon, 03/05/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1322174&l=37093. 5. "W. House Molded EPA's 9/11 Reports", CBS News, 08/22/2003, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1322174&l=37094. 6. "It's public be damned at the EPA", New York Daily News, 08/26/2003, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1322174&l=37095. 7. "Cough up 9/11 aid, workers tell Bush", New York Daily News, 01/25/2003, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1322174&l=37096. 8. "$90M in WTC aid on hold", New York Daily News, 07/10/2003, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1322174&l=37097. 9. "1,700 sue over 9/11 sickness", New York Daily News, 05/24/2004, http://daily.misleader.org/ctt.asp?u=1322174&l=37092.
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    If I remember correctly, of the 1700 lawsuits, almost all of them were dropped by those that filed them.
    "This thread is being closed as it is off-topic and not related to the fire industry." - Isn't that what the Off Duty forum was for?

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    Since when is it the federal governments job to take care of firefighters health???
    They should be going after the City and their insurance. Sounds like a mega workers comp case to me. I cut my finger at a fire once, the municipality took care of it, I didn't have to use it to push my liberal anti-Bush agenda.

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    Originally posted by NickSBFD6
    Since when is it the federal governments job to take care of firefighters health???
    "The White House has sought to hide evidence that Ground Zero firefighters were exposed to hazardous toxins. Specifically, the White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) intervened to doctor EPA press releases that were supposed to warn the public about toxins near Ground Zero."

    EPA head Christie Whitman is trying to explain why she didn't report findings by the U.S. Geological Survey showing some of the World Trade Center dust was as caustic as drain cleaner. Let me know if you remember if the president mentioned the air dangers when he went to ground zero. Did he or his people encourage workers to wear their respirators?

    New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler is questioning the EPA for its response to the situation. "It took less than two weeks in September'' to test the alkalinity of the dust, Nadler said. "We must determine why the EPA hid this information from the public."
    Last edited by E40FDNYL35; 06-10-2004 at 05:18 PM.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
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    Default side note:more to come

    In the agonizing hours after the towers collapsed on Sept. 11, Brooklyn Firefighter Pete Strahl was on his belly, crawling in a tunnel of debris under 7 World Trade Center to reach an injured civilian.
    The victim, with broken bones and a split-open head, was carried to safety by Strahl and his fellow Engine 236 firefighters. Their act of bravery was one of several retold in a Daily News front-page story: "The Great Rescue of Sept. 11."

    Strahl is now battling a deadly throat cancer. His lung tests are also showing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, dubbed the "World Trade Center cough" by medical experts.

    "They took out my voice box," said Strahl, a 21-year FDNY veteran who retired in August 2002, just months after doctors found a malignant neoplasm of the larynx in his throat.

    "My doctor feels it was definitely caused by 9/11. To me, I don't know. I'm a firefighter, not a doctor. But they can't tell me it definitely isn't because of what was in the air down there," he said.

    Strahl's oncologist, Louis Rosner, said he believes the 47-year-old father of three developed cancer because of his work on Sept. 11 and in the days after.

    "It is my professional opinion that the toxic exposure to known carcinogens at the World Trade Center site was a significant contributing factor to Mr. Strahl's diagnosis," Rosner wrote in a letter to the Sept. 11th Victim Compensation Fund.

    Strahl originally applied for money to settle a knee injury, but he rejected the award when he learned he had cancer. He made a new application and testified two weeks ago before a judge representing the fund.

    The difficulty for Strahl and other first responders at the World Trade Center is that they must prove their illnesses are job-related. So far, there is no medical evidence linking Ground Zero to cancer.

    "We have no interest in denying people what they have coming to them,"said NYPD Supervising Chief Surgeon Eli Kleinman, who heads the department's medical board. "But everything has to be done on a scientific basis."

    Detectives Bill Ryan and Ed Wallace were denied tax-free pensions equal to three-quarters of their salaries. They worked side-by-side at Ground Zero. Ryan was assigned to the arson and explosion squad and had been one of the lead investigators in the 1993 Trade Center bombing. Wallace was assigned to the crime scene unit.

    Both were in elite units that required them to have yearly lung X-rays and breathing tests. In the summer of 2001, both said they had healthy, clear X-rays.

    It is a much different picture today. Both suffer shortness of breath, chronic coughs and exhaustion — all symptoms of sarcoidosis, a permanent lung condition they believe they got while working on "the pile."

    "All these politicians say we are never going to forget the heroes," said Ryan, 41, who retired in January after 20 years. "Well, they already did."
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
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    Very compelling stories indeed. I understand the problem, and I sure feel for all of them and their families. BUT, my opinion remains the same. This is a local issue not a federal issue. Don't wanna start anything here, just MHO.

    -Nick

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    The government is probably trying to hide this out of fear that the general public will sue for medical benefits as well. I think that FDNY, NYPD and all other public safety personnel involved with 9/11 should recieve medical benefits from the government if they can prove that thier illness was not pre-existing.

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    NickSBFD6

    This is a local issue not a federal issue.
    So you're saying the misinformation and flat out coverups by the "FEDERAL" EPA is off limits??? Exactly why do you think the federal government had a WTC Fund which was available to anyone injured or sickened by this event...as long as they waived all rights to future claims. Claims against who? Who were they protecting? The CIA, FBI, FAA, EPA, DOD????

    The federal government has been in this from day one, now you want it to be a local issue? Sorry, I can't agree with you.

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    Originally posted by E40FDNYL35

    EPA head Christie Whitman is trying to explain why she didn't report findings by the U.S. Geological Survey showing some of the World Trade Center dust was as caustic as drain cleaner.
    A Local issue with Federal involvement?

    Why is it when the Government finds out something bad (aka Gulf War syndrome, Agent Orange to name a few) They'll spend millions trying to deny it exists, instead of just doing the right thing?

    A fund was established, and they knew the stuff was toxic. It seems to me that the Federal Government decided it wasn't a "Local Issue".
    Last edited by hfd66truck; 06-10-2004 at 06:30 PM.

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    To an extent I agree that it is a local issue to provide for the health and well being of these police officers, firefighters, and the unmentioned (as usual) EMTs and Pramedics.

    However, Due to the severity and scope of the incident, additional federal funds and monitoring should have been made available to aid in monitoring and some treatment. Much can be learned about the respiratory effects over the long term and new treatments can be developed to slow or correct this problem. Not to mention, this is an inundation of the system and community from a single event deemed a national disaster. Hence, this has grown beyond a simple local issue, although it does seem that city is doing little by way of aid.

    Let us be realistic here as well. Even if the EPA or any other agency had told FDNY or NYPD that the air was toxic and advised against anyone going in, do we really expect that these guys were going to stand by and not go in to recover remains, evidence, and survivors? Wild horses couldn't have held you guys back.

    A little exercise of common sense is due here as well. Any building that collapses is a hazardous materials incident and unless proven otherwise access needs to be restricted and the incident treated as such. That being said - see the previous paragraph. Fires were burning for days - no different than any other structure fire or building collapse that has occurred in history. Firefighting / disaster mitigation is a dangerous business and hazardous to one's health. We know this as part of our job.

    On the same note of exercising common sense, let us remember that this was a relatively unimaginable event, and no one could really have ever prepared for this, so I do think the litigation is a bit out of place here.

    I do not mean to disrespect anyone from FDNY, NYPD or anyone else, just adding my two cents to this.
    Last edited by DaSharkie; 06-11-2004 at 06:25 AM.
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    Anyone who feels the Feds have no place here, please send me a letter waiving any claim by your family to the PSOB in the event of your death while operating locally. I'll see it gets to the right people in WASHINGTON.

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    Originally posted by DaSharkie
    Firefighting / disaster mitigation is a dangerous business and hazardous to one's health. We know this as part of our job.
    No one is arguing this point. If the Feds established funds for the treatment of WTC survivors, why are the Feds hiding the fact that the survivors were exposed and now may be suffering from those exposures. This has nothing to do with keeping people out of ground zero during the recovery. Once again Politics is being played over peoples lives. Period, end of story.

    Originally posted by E40FDNYL35
    New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler is questioning the EPA for its response to the situation. "It took less than two weeks in September'' to test the alkalinity of the dust, Nadler said. "We must determine why the EPA hid this information from the public."
    You see, information was known and not made public. What about any treatment that may have been done for these people based on discovering what they were exposed to?

    I am sure that the last thing that anyone involved was concerned about at the time was what they were breathing. I'll bet that most of us in the same position would have the same reaction. By why, time and time again, do the Fed's establish funds to take of people and then go out of their way to fight claims against those funds.

    Its bad enough that the FDNY, NYPD, FDNY EMS and anyone else that was there had to go through this event, why add insult to injury by not taking care of them now.(FEMA teams too)

    Whether volunteer or paid, one of the reasons that most of us are willing to do this job is the knowledge that when it all goes wrong we will be taken care of. Same reasons pilots have willing flown in combat for years, they know that their rescue will executed at all costs.

    Its time to do the right thing.

    Dave
    Last edited by hfd66truck; 06-11-2004 at 07:18 AM.

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    Default Bush forced to cover World Trade Center health claims

    June 2004 -- Already struggling to contain the damage caused by recent revelations concerning its failure to take any action to prevent the 2001 terrorist attacks on New York City and Washington, the Bush administration moved quickly last week to avert another potentially embarrassing 9/11 scandal.

    Last month, acting through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the administration attempted to weasel out of its pledge to pay health claims for injuries incurred by workers engaged in the rescue and recovery operations at the World Trade Center site. It was one more example of the hypocrisy of the administration, which invokes September 11 to justify all of its policies while exhibiting contempt for those who have suffered serious health problems as a result of responding to the terrorist attacks.

    According to the Mount Sinai Medical Health Screening Program for WTC-Site Responders, of the 9,000 people monitored, more than half, or at least 4,000, are sick, primarily with respiratory or mental health symptoms, or both. So far, 2,357 claims have been filed against the New York City government. If FEMA had gotten its way, the city would have been liable for up to $350 million of these health costs before the federal program took effect. The impact upon the city’s already strained budget would have been devastating.

    Faced with an unprecedented health crisis of both an immediate and protracted nature, the Bush administration tried to shirk its responsibility—in this case financial—for the 9/11 attacks by resorting to narrow legalistic interpretations.

    FEMA argued that claims related to work carried out between September 11 and September 29, 2001—the most intensive and dangerous period in the immediate aftermath of the attacks—were not technically "clean-up" related, but rather were rescue efforts and therefore not covered by a $1 billion federal fund established to pay such claims.

    The fund itself was not created out of concern for the health of the workers on the site. Rather, it was enacted by Congress to protect the New York City government and the four contracting companies engaged in the clean-up—Tully, AMEC, Bovis and Turner—because no commercial insurance companies would agree to provide liability coverage for the dangerous site.

    The potential costs in health claims were recognized at the time, quite rightly, as an untenable financial risk, given the scope and scale of the clean-up and the largely unknown health implications of exposure to a variety of contaminants, in addition to physical and psychological injuries. The city and the construction companies faced huge losses if they were uninsured. The fund was therefore carved out of the overall aid package of $21.5 billion pledged by the Bush administration to New York City immediately after the attacks so that the clean-up work could go forward.

    It is not surprising that the Bush administration tried to stiff the workers and the city when the bills came due. The administration was merely treating these workers and New York City the same way it treats all workers, as well as municipal and state governments across the country, many of which have been bankrupted by the loss of federal funds for social services. But in this case, a number of overriding political considerations made this unviable.

    Given the Republican Party’s choice of New York City as the site of its 2004 nominating convention, an embarrassing squabble with the city government over who is responsible for paying medical claims for injured WTC-site workers had to be avoided. Thus, when New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and members of the New York congressional delegation vociferously disputed FEMA’s interpretation, the administration backed down within a week.

    A public confrontation between the city and the federal government over the insurance funds would have proved embarrassing from several standpoints.

    Firstly, a further exposure of the administration’s failure not only to prevent but to adequately respond to the attacks, including taking measures to provide for the health needs of those engaged in rescue and clean-up operations, would quickly become as politically charged as the recent revelations made before the 9/11 Commission.

    The $350 million in health claims presently under dispute represents only a fraction of the full cost of medical screening and treatment that will be required over the long term for those who worked at "ground zero." Cancer resulting from exposure to asbestos, for example, does not develop for 10 to 15 years. And while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), under the direct orders of the National Security Council headed by Condoleezza Rice, consistently denied the presence of dangerous levels of asbestos in the air around the WTC site, it has since admitted that more than 25 percent of the bulk dust samples collected before September 18, 2001, showed the presence of asbestos above the 1 percent benchmark. The EPA also claims it is unable to predict the effects of exposure to PCBs, particulate matter (e.g., pulverized cement), dioxin and other contaminants released by the WTC collapse.

    The EPA has also been forced to admit, in a report released in August 2003, that all its press releases in the aftermath of 9/11 had to go through the White House’s Council on Environmental Quality and the National Security Council, and that as a result all information about damaging health effects had been edited out.

    So it would come as no surprise if buried somewhere in the EPA’s files there was a memo from September 2001 entitled "WTC Air Unsafe to Breathe." If such a document were to emerge, the White House would no doubt claim that it contained only "historical" information.

    More importantly, because President Bush has consistently sought to pitch his bid for re-election based on his purported image as a steady leader through the crisis of 9/11, the mounting evidence of his administration’s utter disregard for those people who directly responded to this crisis and are now suffering the consequences has potentially devastating political consequences.

    When the Bush-Cheney campaign ran $41 million worth of ads in March displaying images of the destroyed World Trade Towers and a flag-draped coffin, it outraged New York City firefighters and victims’ families who felt their grief and heroism were being crassly co-opted for political purposes.

    And now the choice of New York City for the Republican national convention site is being questioned within the party itself. The New York Times quoted longtime Republican political operative and Bush supporter Roger Stone as saying, "The premise for coming to New York is no longer valid. Karl Rove’s masterstroke idea may turn out to be an unmitigated disaster. It has the potential to highlight an issue that may be negative by the time he [Bush] gets to the convention."

    This will certainly be the case, as the Bush Administration proves increasingly unable to suppress the full toll taken by its criminal policies, including upon the workers who sacrificed their health to conduct the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
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    Default side note:

    WASHINGTON -- Estimating that more then 700 firefighters may be permanently disabled, Fire Department medical chief Dr. Kerry Kelly yesterday urged approval of federal funding for long-term health tracking of firefighters suffering from Sept. 11-related illnesses. "What we are looking to do is monitor these people beyond retirement on the premise that they have been in a war," said Dr. Kelly, testifying before the Senate Committee on the Environment and Public Works.
    An estimated 600 firefighters, many of whom worked in the recovery and clean-up effort at Ground Zero, suffer from disabling respiratory diseases. The careers of another 100 to 200 may have been ended by severe emotional and psychological trauma, she told senators. "Since the attack our members have ... struggled with the emotional consequences of losing colleagues, near-death experiences and digging through tons of rubble to find those who perished," Dr. Kelly said. "The emotional toll has been great."
    In addition, over 3,000 firefighters have been evaluated for stress, grief and bereavement as well as "post-traumatic symptoms, and 250 remain on leave with these problems," she added. And the FDNY faces added depletion of veteran personnel because of impending retirements. "One year after the attack, the Fire Department of New York continues to rebuild and recover, forever changed by the events of Sept. 11," Dr. Kelly said. "It has was a difficult year."
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
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    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
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    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
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    May 24th, 2004 -- Richard Lahm, 49, who retired from the 46th Precinct in the Bronx this year, is battling terminal tonsil cancer - a condition his doctor claims was caused by the toxins released at Ground Zero.Last month, Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Kibbie Payne ruled that Lahm's cancer "was exacerbated" by his work after the terrorist attacks and ordered the city to pay him a tax-free disability pension.While most medical experts doubt any cancer clusters would emerge so soon after 9/11, there is extensive evidence of other ailments among those who worked at Ground Zero or Fresh Kills - where nearly 2 million tons of Trade Center debris was taken to be sifted through.The illnesses include sarcoidosis, a permanent lung condition; asthma; reactive airway disorders; chronic coughs, and emergency workers with glass lodged in their lung tissue, according to medical records reviewed by the Daily News."If I got a cancer after working in the terrible conditions cops, firefighters, construction workers did and developed a cancer a few years later, of course my first thought would be I got it there," said Dr. Stephen Levin, the medical director of the center for occupational and environmental medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center.But, he added, "It's too soon. It's impossible to say definitively there is an increase in cancer until we get a better sense of the people whose faces were in the plume there."Dr. Kerry Kelly, chief medical officer for the FDNY, has been monitoring the health problems of firefighters since Sept. 11 and said while respiratory issues are the most prevalent problem, cancer is a major concern."We've had so many different reports from the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] we don't know what people were exposed to. The synergy of all those substances mixed together ... we never had an exposure such as this," Kelly said. "Our concern is, what will be the long-term consequence. Cancer tends to be something that develops after years - but it's very hard to say the cancers we are seeing weren't caused by what happened on 9/11."Kelly and FDNY spokesman Frank Gribbon said firefighters tend to develop cancer at a higher rate than civilians because of the toxins they are exposed to. From 1999 to the World Trade Center attacks, 104 firefighters were diagnosed with cancer. From Sept. 11, 2001, until today, that number dropped to 71.More than 300 firefighters have retired with disabilities related to injuries and illnesses related to their work at Ground Zero, Gribbon said. There are an additional 300 disability pension cases pending, meaning that 600 firefighters are on track to retire with three-quarter pensions."The Fire Department is concerned about health risks. We gave medicals to every one of our people since 9/11 - active and retired firefighters," Gribbon said. NYPD Supervising Chief Surgeon Eli Kleinman, a hematologist and consultant to the city's Trade Center health registry, said the department is "very concerned" about cops developing cancer but has not seen a spike in cases since the terror attacks."There are many unknowns here," Kleinman said. "There is no evidence of date of clusters of cancer or malignancies related to 9/11. One cannot rule anything in or out."Detective John Walcott is one of those cops who has filed a notice of claim against the city seeking financial compensation after he was diagnosed with cancer last May.The rugged, athletic 39-year-old narcotics detective and hockey coach is living with deadly acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) - a cancer his doctors believe was caused by a toxic mix of pulverized compounds he breathed in while sifting through the rubble at Ground Zero or the Fresh Kills landfill.AML is often caused by exposure to chemicals and radiation, primarily benzene, a toxin found in airline fuel, his doctors and lawyers said. Walcott said he never smoked, rarely drinks and lives in upstate New York where he says he's never been exposed to any carcinogens."I've never been sick a day in my life, except for a sore throat or a common cold," Walcott told The News with his attorney, David Worby, at his side. "I've had friends of mine who were stationed with me [at the landfill] visit me in the hospital and panic, asking me, 'Am I next?'"This year, Walcott has undergone bone marrow transplants and a series of chemotherapy treatments, and he often wakes up in the middle of the night with blood coming out of his eyes. But the worst pain is not physical, he said."I missed the first year of my daughter's life," said Walcott, whose only daughter, Colleen, recently turned 2."The hardest part is each day I spend with her, I think ... is this going to be the last one?" he added, before his shoulders began to shake with tears.NYPD street crime Detective Robert Williamson, 43, became sick with pancreatic cancer in March 2003, a year after he retired from the force. Williamson, his doctors and his attorney, Michael Barach, insist he became sick inhaling carcinogens at Ground Zero 16 hours a day for five months. He never smoked and has no family history of cancer."It's been a nightmare. My doctors are telling me basically to go home and die," said Williamson, a married father of three children, ages 12, 9 and 7."Did I know the air was not safe? Yes. Would I go down there again today knowing that? Yes. A lot of people made sacrifices," he said. "I might be a casualty of 9/11, but at least I had a few more years with my family."Williamson is not the only potential casualty associated with the health risks of the Trade Center aftermath.Union leaders for the police and firefighters say they've seen too many cases:Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives Endowment Association, had his members fill out a medical survey. He was disturbed by the findings.
    "I have a lot of active detectives who are extremely sick. I have retired detectives, healthy people, coming down with all kinds of strange illnesses, cancers and diseases they never had before."Uniformed Firefighters Association President Steven Cassidy said three Brooklyn firefighters have been diagnosed with thyroid cancer since working at Ground Zero. Another has leukemia. Hundreds more have retired with asthma and other respiratory issues, he said.
    "All these guys with cancer worked extensively at Ground Zero. How can anyone draw a conclusion that the cancer is not related to their work there?" Cassidy said.Port Authority Patrolman's Benevolent Association President Gus Danese said his members are complaining of lung ailments, mouth sores and chronic coughs. He is bracing himself for worse."We lost 37 members on 9/11. Could that number go higher because of the air quality at Ground Zero and the landfill? Absolutely," Danese said. "Now the question is, what do we do?"Patrolman's Benevolent Association President Pat Lynch predicted Lahm's case would be the first of many similar ones. "Richie Lahm is just the beginning," Lynch said.Barach, Williamson's lawyer, has six retired city cops and six city firefighters as clients, all of whom have developed cancer since 9/11."I fear that a lot of guys who worked in the rescue effort were given a death sentence," Barach said. "A lot of them don't even know it yet."
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
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    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
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    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    Just days after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the agency responsible for the environmental health of Americans declared the air and water safe in New York. But now, in her first interview since the release of a troubling report, the Environmental Protection Agency’s top watchdog says the agency didn’t have the facts when it said it was safe to move back to the neighborhoods near Ground Zero. And she’s pointing the finger all the way to the White House.

    IN THE WAKE of 9/11, there were serious concerns about whether the air around Ground Zero was filled with toxins - unsafe for workers and residents.But by Sept. 18, 2001, many New Yorkers were back in their apartments and on the job. Partly because of a press release that day from the Environmental Protection Agency reassuring New Yorkers that “their air is safe to breathe.”Was that press release misleading? According to Nikki Tinsley, “It was surely not telling all of the truth.”In an exclusive interview, Inspector General Tinsley, the EPA’s top watchdog, tells NBC News the agency simply did not have sufficient data to justify such a reassurance.In fact, a new report by Tinsley’s office says, at the time, more than 25 percent of dust samples collected before Sept. 18 showed unsafe levels of asbestos. And the EPA had no test results at all on PCBs, dioxins or particulates in the air that can cause respiratory problems. Tinsley said, “The EPA did not give the people of New York complete information. It had put together press releases that were more informative than those that it ultimately released.”
    CHANGED PRESS RELEASES
    So what happened? Tinsley’s report charges, in the crucial days after 9/11, the White House changed EPA press releases to “add reassuring statements and delete cautionary ones.”
    Sept. 13: The EPA draft release — never released to the public — said: EPA “testing terrorized sites for environmental hazards.” The White House changed that to EPA “reassures public about environmental hazards.”
    Sept. 16: The EPA draft said: “Recent samples of dust ... on Water Street show higher levels of asbestos.”

    The White House version: “New samples confirm ... ambient air quality meets OSHA [government] standards” ... and “is not a cause for public concern.”And the White House left out entirely the warning “that air samples raise concerns for cleanup workers and office workers near Water St.”Why all these changes? Tinsley said, “We were told that a desire to reopen Wall Street and national security concerns were the reasons for changing the press releases.”When all the tests on PCBs and particulates did come in, they did not raise any red flags. That does not satisfy Kathryn Freed, who lives near Ground Zero and now has been diagnosed with bronchitis caused by chemicals from 9/11. She never left her apartment, and feels misled. “It did influence people to stay. I mean it kind of made me feel better. I’m, not sure I really believed it but there was part of me that said ‘well, it’s OK and I’ve just got to do what I’ve got to do’ and there won’t be health problems.” While the EPA’s Tinsley suggests that the White House misled the public, she stops short of accusing anyone of actually lying, or knowingly providing false information. And Tinsley says the EPA handled most things during 9/11 very well.
    In her first broadcast interview on this topic, former EPA Administrator Christie Whitman denies misleading anyone. “The White House never directed the Environmental Protection Agency to withhold facts or to lie to the people of the city of New York.”James Connaughton, the head of the White House environmental policy group that changed the 9/11 press releases, agrees, saying, “We used the best information to us available at the time.”But for Nikki Tinsley, the question lingers: Was that timely enough?
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    All of this is very touching and our hearts go out to all who are haveing problems.

    But, frankly, how is this any of Bush's or any President's responsibiltiy. Why do some insist that the President do everything about every little detail of America. You know, I've been on duty injury for 4 months now and I haven't gotten a call from ol' George at all. I guess he doesn't care. Hmmm come to think of it, Kerry, Clinton and not even Monica has enquired into my welfare. Would you feel better if Bill said he feels your pain or if John said he supports you? Since the IAFF heads have picked Kerry, I guess words are all that matters since Kerry never (and still does today for the Fire Act) care about taking time to actually vote YES on firefighter issues.

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    Originally posted by viking73
    All of this is very touching and our hearts go out to all who are haveing problems.

    But, frankly, how is this any of Bush's or any President's responsibiltiy. Why do some insist that the President do everything about every little detail of America.
    Maybe it has something to do with the "Whitehouse" telling the EPA to squish the test results. And if that wasn't true, then good ole whats her name wouldn't still be employed by the US government. Where I grew, the President took responsibilty for everything under his watch.....

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    Default Don't use firefighters for photo ops!

    I notice Bush uses photos of firefighters to further his political campaign. Maybe he should give a little something back!

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    Originally posted by hfd66truck


    Maybe it has something to do with the "Whitehouse" telling the EPA to squish the test results. And if that wasn't true, then good ole whats her name wouldn't still be employed by the US government. Where I grew, the President took responsibilty for everything under his watch.....


    BINGO
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Otten Ladder 35 *
    FF. Steve Mercado Engine 40 *
    FF. Kevin Bracken Engine 40 *
    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
    FF. Michael Dauria Engine 40

    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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    A couple af posters have mentions that they have line of duty injuries and never even thought to sue Washington or the President.

    Were your injuries caused by a terrorist act?Did the President stand up on a pumper and proclaim that he'll take care of you?

    BTW - Kerry may have not voted on the FIRE Act.At least he didn't vote NO! Where does Bush stand on SAFER? you know,the one he refuses to fund.Bush must go.I find it hard to believe anyone involved with the fire service could vote for him.

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    I notice Bush uses photos of firefighters to further his political campaign. Maybe he should give a little something back!
    And everytime I see Lurch on TV, there is one of his Yellow-Shirted Union Boys right there too, "whats good for the goose...."


    Bush must go.I find it hard to believe anyone involved with the fire service could vote for him.
    I find it hard for anyone who cares about their livelihood as an "American" could vote for Kerry. So go figure, I am at work for 8 hours a day and at the Fire House for 20 hours per week, I care more about the time I am at home with my family.
    Proud Right-Wing Extremist since 1992

    "Extreme Liberalism is a Mental Disorder"- Michael Savage

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    Default parroting the DNC and others

    have you figured out the hell our nation will be in if kerry is elected?

    He turned his back on his fellow americans

    And it's not about the fact that he opposed the Vietnam War after he got out with band aid wounds and bogus medals

    Its about the fact that he joined Hanoi Jane in aiding and abetting the enemy.

    And you want this *** hat, because your union rep told you so?

    Wake up and think for yourself and beyond yourself.

    John Fn Kerry - brought to you by the party and line of thinking that brought you Waco, Texas.

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    THE WHEELS ON THE BUS GO ROUND AND ROUND, ROUND AND ROUND, ROUND AND ROUND........

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    [size=huge]

    ALL THROUGH THE TOWN!
    [/size]
    ‎"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
    Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY

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