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  1. #41
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    WTC responders' illness worse than expected Almost five years after terror attacks, new critical health cases are surfacing

    Doctors who treat World Trade Center responders say they are surprised almost five years later by the growing number seeking help for the first time -100 people a month in the biggest monitoring program -- and by the severity of illnesses among Sept. 11 workers already in treatment."There's no question there's continuing demand and many in the treatment program are quite ill," said Dr. Robin Herbert, codirector of the World Trade Center Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening Program at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan.
    Herbert, whose program has examined about 15,000 responders since 2002, said doctors are finding "remarkable persistence" in breathing disorders such as chronic sinusitis and asthma, stomach ailments such as gastrointestinal reflux disease and psychological problems such as post traumatic stress disorder -- a suite of maladies one survivor called "my 9/11 plague."Some patients also have come in with severe lung scarring, which can be fatal. And there have been cases of cancer, which worries experts, though they are unwilling to directly attribute them to exposure to Ground Zero toxins. Doctors are also surprised by the numbers of new patients. Mount Sinai's screening program sees 100 new people a month, Herbert said. Despite adding more health care providers, Herbert said that for the last six months, the waiting list for treatment has grown to more than three months. "We honestly did not expect such ongoing demand," she said. Dr. Ben Luft, program director for Long Island's World Trade Center monitoring program at Stony Brook University Hospital, which is following about 1,800 workers, said about 250 new workers from Long Island have come to the program in the past year. "It's very surprising. Originally, we felt these are people who had an acute exposure and acute reaction, and we didn't think we were going to continue at this level for five years after exposure," said Luft, whose program, like Mount Sinai's, follows and treats Sept. 11 responders. In some, he said, there appears to be "a period of latency" before symptoms develop. In others, symptoms have worsened over time, becoming bad enough to drive the person to seek help for the first time. "There's a chronic, progressive element to this," he said.
    Herbert said she is also concerned about a small number of cases of lung scarring similar to that which killed Det. James Zadroga, 34, of Little Egg Harbor, N.J., in January. The coroner there found swirls in Zadroga's lungs caused by foreign material, which he linked to Ground Zero dust -- the first death to be officially tied to World Trade Center exposure. "We're concerned because now we have a very small number of World Trade Center responders with much more serious lung scarring diseases,"Herbert said. Luft said he has also seen a handful of such cases.
    Dr. David Prezant, chief medical officer in the Office of Medical Affairs in the New York City Fire Department at Montefiore Medical Center, said he also has seen some cases of lung scarring among the 14,000 fire fighters and emergency medical workers being monitored. He believes larger numbers of scarring cases and other diseases may show up in "another wave" decades from now. Prezant coauthored a study published last month that showed the average lung function decline among fire fighters who were at Ground Zero one year after Sept. 11 was the equivalent of 12 years of aging. World Trade Center workers are exchanging stories of cancers in colleagues -- especially of the blood, kidneys and pancreas -- they believe are the result of inhaling and ingesting pulverized cement, glass fibers and other toxic substances at Ground Zero. "We have a rough estimate of 200 to 300 people who are between the ages of 30 and 50 [with cancer]," said Jon Sferazo, 51, of Huntington Station, presiding officer of Unsung Heroes Helping Heroes, an advocacy group for Sept. 11 responders. "These cancers seem to be occurring in people far too young," he said.Doctors are unwilling to link the cancer cases and exposure to Ground Zero toxins because it generally takes years for cancers to develop -- but they are tracking them closely. "We don't know if these are just normal, sporadic cases or if a pattern is developing. The methodology[in monitoring patients] has to be vigilant," Luft said. Mental health problems, including depression and post traumatic stress disorder, are also not going away, experts said. As with new cases of physical ailments, health professionals are seeing new cases of psychological difficulties among people who previously hadn't sought help. "What we're seeing is people coming forward for the first time," said Michael Arcari, the head of Faithful Response, a free mental health program for World Trade Center responders in North Bellmore. Arcari, a former New York City Police Department lieutenant, said it is not unusual to see more people seeking help four to six years after a major trauma when their "coping mechanisms" start to falter. Since it began last year, his program has seen 130 people, the majority of whom are from Long Island. "You start to see it in their personal lives and in their work performance," he said. "... A marriage is breaking up or something else is going on and their backs are up against a wall."
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
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    FF. Vincent Morello Ladder 35
    FF. Michael Roberts Ladder 35 *
    FF. Michael Lynch Engine 40
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  2. #42
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    June 5, 2006 -- With mounting evidence that exposure to the toxic smoke and ash at ground zero during the nine-month cleanup has made many people sick, attention is now focusing on the role of air-filtering masks, or respirators, that cost less than $50 and could have shielded workers from some of the toxins. More than 150,000 such masks were distributed and only 40,000 people worked on the pile, but most workers either did not have the masks or did not use them. These respirators are now at the center of a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 8,000 firefighters, police officers and private workers who say they were exposed to toxic substances at or near ground zero that have made them sick or may eventually do so. While residents and office workers in the area also suffered ill effects, the work crews at the site who had the greatest exposure are thought to have sustained the greatest harm. From legal documents presented in the case, a tale emerges of heroic but ineffective efforts to protect workers, with botched opportunities, confused policies and contradictions that failed to ensure their safety. Lawyers representing the workers say that there was no central distribution point for the respirators, no single organization responsible for giving them out, and no one with the power to make sure the respirators that were distributed got used, and used properly. By contrast, at the Pentagon, workers not wearing proper protective gear were escorted off the site."Employers are responsible for providing a safe workplace," said David Worby, the lawyer whose firm represents the workers. "But the majority of workers at ground zero were given nothing, or had masks that didn't work."
    The allegations are based on the lawyers' review of more than 400,000 pages of official documents and the testimony of 30 government witnesses.The city, which is the principal government defendant, has moved to have the lawsuit dismissed. It argues that it and the private contractors it hired to help in the cleanup did their best to provide adequate equipment and to get workers to use it, but many workers ignored the warnings. Many workers cited reasons for not keeping the masks on, like the stifling heat and the difficulty of communicating while wearing them. Even if the response to an unprecedented emergency was flawed, the city's lawyers argue, a firmly established legal immunity under the State Defense Emergency Act and other laws protects New York from legal liability. Kenneth A. Becker, head of the city's World Trade Center litigation unit, declined to comment on the charges in the complaint, saying it was "inappropriate to comment on pending litigation," beyond what is contained in documents already filed with the court. In those papers, the city argued that its "concern for the health and safety of all workers and volunteers at the W.T.C. site began immediately after the September 11 attacks and continued until the end of the rescue, recovery and debris removal operations."Oral argument on the city's motion to dismiss the case is scheduled for June 22 before Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of United States District Court in Manhattan.

    Workplace Hazards

    Ground zero was about the most dangerous workplace imaginable: a smoking heap of nearly two million tons of tangled steel and concrete that contained a brew of toxins, including asbestos, benzene, PCB's, and more than 400 chemicals. Indeed, recent health studies have found that many people who worked on the pile have since developed a rash of serious ailments, including gastrointestinal and respiratory problems.In the chaos of the first 48 hours after the twin towers collapsed, only the city's firefighters had any personal protective equipment suitable for such an environment. But even that equipment was not sufficient. Each firefighter is issued a full-face mask that is part of a Self-Contained Breathing Apparatus, also known as a Scott pack, which functions like scuba gear, supplying air while sealing out hazards. But the tanks contain no more than 18 minutes of oxygen. The system works well if a firefighter is dashing into a burning building to rescue a baby. For a nine-month recovery operation, it was useless. Once their Scott packs were exhausted, the first firefighters on the scene had no backup gear. That is why Firefighter Palmer Doyle and the crew from Engine Company 254 in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn, stopped at a hardware store on the way into Manhattan on Sept. 11 to buy every paper dust mask in stock. When he returned to ground zero with 50 other firefighters on a bus a few days later, Firefighter Doyle looked for respirators. He was told there was just one left for the entire crew. It was given to the youngest among them.
    Firefighter Doyle, now 51 and retired with mild asthma, a recurring cough and other work-related problems, said that the firefighters never thought for a second of refusing to work without respirators, but they did wonder when they were going to be available. Records produced in the lawsuit indicate that the Fire Department put in an order with the city for 5,000 P100 Organic Vapor/Acid Gas half-face masks, which cost less than $50 each, and 10,000 replacement filter cartridges on Sept. 28. But the order was not processed for almost two months. Such delays remain a sore point. "Firefighters worked during the 9/11 rescue operation with little or no respiratory protection, and anyone who claims differently is lying," said Stephen J. Cassidy, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. "The department further failed to supply anything but particle masks to its workers until much later." In the first few days after Sept. 11, the only types of breathing protection generally available to people at ground zero were surgical masks and paper dust masks, often distributed by volunteers. Even Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani and Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington, who has qualified for workers' compensation for Sept. 11-related ailments, wore paper masks at that time, although industrial safety officers say they were practically useless. When private construction crews first arrived to help with debris removal, they had no air-filtering equipment with them because they do not usually work in such hazardous conditions. "For the average Joe, there was nothing," said Robert Gray, a crane operator who is co-author of a new book about the cleanup called "Nine Months at Ground Zero" (Scribner, 2006). Mr. Gray said that after several days, the International Union of Operating Engineers, to which he belongs, brought in a trailer to provide half-face masks and testing to make sure they fit and functioned properly. Outside the pile, most workers in the early days of the cleanup had only paper masks, and many of the laborers hired by cleaning contractors to vacuum the asbestos from buildings downtown had nothing at all. The New York Committee on Occupation Safety and Health, a union labor organization, provided checkups and respirators to more than 400 of these laborers, many of them illegal immigrants. David M. Newman, an industrial hygienist with the labor committee, said that when federal environmental officials announced that it was safe for people to return to Lower Manhattan so that Wall Street could reopen a week after the towers collapsed, employers suddenly "had a green light to say, 'We don't need to use respirators because the E.P.A. says the air is OK.' "He was referring to a statement made on Sept. 18, 2001, by Christie Whitman, the Environmental Protection Agency administrator, that air sampling done by her agency showed that the air was safe to breathe. The agency's inspector general concluded in 2003 that Ms. Whitman's statement was far too broad and could not be scientifically supported at the time she made it. According to the inspector general's exhaustive recounting of the environmental consequences of Sept. 11, a federal emergency response team prepared a report on the day of the attacks recommending that respirators be used at ground zero. But the report was never issued because it was decided that New York City, and not the federal government, should handle worker protection issues. As the magnitude of the recovery operation grew clearer, attempts were made to bring order to the operation. On Sept. 20 the city issued its first safety plan, and it asked the Occupational Safety and Health Administration to take charge of distributing respirators. In what would become a controversial move, OSHA used its discretionary powers to decide not to enforce workplace safety regulations but to act in a supportive role that would not slow down operations. "Given that the site was operating under emergency conditions, it was normal that we should suspend our enforcement action and assume the roles of consultation and technical assistance," Patricia Clark, OSHA regional administrator for New York, said in a 2003 OSHA publication. OSHA placed emergency orders for tens of thousands of P100 half-face masks with replaceable filters. They cost from $25 to $50 at the time, and were certified to be effective protection against asbestos and most of the dust on the site. But Mr. Worby, whose White Plains-based law firm, Worby Groner Edelman Napoli Bern, is handling the workers' joint action suit, said that even these masks were not adequate protection against the chemicals released by the collapsed buildings. He, and others, believe that ground zero should have been declared a toxic waste site, with workers required to wear hazardous-material suits. Records produced in the lawsuit indicate that the city did receive 75,000 Tyvek suits, white protective overalls often used at hazardous waste sites, but never distributed them at ground zero. Ms. Clark, the OSHA administrator, testified before Congress in October 2003 that the agency distributed 131,000 half-face respirators before the cleanup ended in June 2002, more than three times the number of workers on the site. In addition, the Environmental Protection Agency provided 22,000 respirators and the operating engineers' union distributed 11,000. There has been no clear accounting of where they all went. But based on witness accounts and reports by safety officers at the site, it appears that most were used improperly and then discarded. OSHA's own regulations require that masks be tested for fit on each individual wearer, and that men with facial hair must shave for the masks to fit properly. The lawsuit against the city claims that most of the masks were simply handed out, without instructions or testing for fit. "Respirator fit testing done around the World Trade Center was illusory at best," the lawsuit says. A separate lawsuit filed on behalf of downtown residents and schoolchildren exposed to ground zero contamination is pending in federal district court in Manhattan. Several health studies have shown that the closer people came to the debris pile in the early days and weeks after the twin towers collapsed, the more serious are the ailments they develop. A city registry of 71,000 people — including responders and residents — exposed to the dust showed that people who live downtown have developed respiratory and mental health problems. But they generally have not been as serious as those reported by people who worked directly on the pile. OSHA refused to answer questions about its handling of the respirators. John M. Chavez, a spokesman, said lawyers from the Department of Justice's environmental torts branch, which is handling trade center litigation, advised against talking to reporters about respirators because "the question goes to the heart of the issue of the litigation."

    Going Without

    After the masks arrived at ground zero, it soon became apparent that distributing them was easier than getting workers to wear them. At that time of passion and heroism, putting on any kind of respirator or mask was an expression of concern about personal safety — and for many that seemed selfish and unpatriotic in the midst of unimaginable disaster. By contrast, more than 90 percent of the workers at the Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, which was overseen by the Army Corps of Engineers, wore respirators. There were other reasons for not wearing the respirators. Scorching temperatures on the pile made working in the masks unbearable. It was nearly impossible for the workers to communicate with each other with masks on, so they pulled them down and many later kept them off. The filters clogged easily in the thick, powdery dust, and replacements were not always readily available. But perhaps the greatest impediments to compliance were the confusing guidelines and spotty enforcement efforts. Overseeing the work, and worker safety, was a horde of government entities that, at its peak, exceeded 30 city, state and federal agencies with overlapping jurisdictions and, at times, contradictory policies. Statements from the E.P.A. about the air being safe contradicted respirator requirements. OSHA eventually established a green line, which it actually painted around the pile, and ordered respirators to be worn inside the green line. But in November 2001 the various government agencies and private contractors entered into a partnership: OSHA agreed not to issue fines or citations, and the contractors vowed to follow regulations. The city, in its legal defense, says it issued advisories, distributed pamphlets and put up signs telling workers to wear respirators. But observers from unions and labor safety organizations, some using binoculars, found no more than half of the workers ever used their respirators. At times, no more than one in five workers were in compliance. The compliance problem at ground zero was regularly brought up at daily safety committee hearings held by the city with other agencies and private contractors. But without strict enforcement, the situation never improved. Frustrated contractors doubted that anything short of "having workers' mother on site to admonish them to comply would be effective," according to records of one of the meetings cited in the legal documents. Mr. Worby, the lawyer, says attempts to blame the workers for not wearing respirators go against the spirit of New York labor laws, which oblige employers to provide safe working environments. He argued that even if doing so was impractical in the first chaotic days after the attacks, rigorous standards could have been imposed in the many months that followed. Lawyers for the injured workers are looking to recoup monetary damages for their pain, suffering, lost days and troubled nights. The city and the 190 private companies named in the lawsuit, which was filed last year, say they did the best they could to balance safety with expediency. They point out that in nine months at ground zero, there was not one fatality. But several recent health studies have shown that exposure to ground zero dust has caused serious respiratory and gastrointestinal problems in hundreds of people who worked at the site. Doctors have also started to notice an unusual number of lung-scarring diseases, especially among firefighters. So far there has been only one death officially linked to dust exposure, that of Detective James Zadroga, whose death early this year was attributed to lung scarring caused by the work he did at ground zero. Both sides in the suit cast an uneasy eye on the future. The city clearly worries that if there is another attack it will not be able to hire contractors and respond to the emergency without fear of becoming entangled in legal liabilities, which could hamper its ability to restore order and protect the city. In the same vein, the workers' representatives ask, if they are again called in to help, will the environmental and labor laws intended to protect them be enforced?
    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*****************

  3. #43
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    Default Cancer Hits 283 Rescuers Of 9/11/01

    June 11, 2006 -- Since 9/11, 283 World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers have been diagnosed with cancer, and 33 of them have died of cancer, says a lawyer for the ailing responders. David Worby, a lawyer for 8,000 World Trade Center responders, including cops, firefighters and construction workers, said the cases blood-cell cancers such as leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin's and myeloma. Doctors say the cancers can strike three to five years after exposure to toxins such as benzene, a cancer-causing chemical that permeated the WTC site from burning jet fuel. "One in 150,000 white males under 40 would normally get the type of acute white blood-cell cancer that strikes a healthy detective," said Worby, whose first client was NYPD narcotics cop John Walcott, now 41. Walcott spent months at Ground Zero and the Fresh Kills landfill. The father of three is fighting leukemia. "We have nearly 35 of these cancers in the family of 50,000 Ground Zero workers. The odds of that occurring are one in hundreds of millions," Worby said. Others suffer tumors of the tongue, throat, testicles, breast, bladder, kidney, colon, intestines, and lung, said Worby, of Worby, Groner, Edelman, & Napoli, Bern, which filed the class-action suit. WTC workers who have died of cancer include paramedic Deborah Reeve, 41 (mesothelioma); NYPD Officer Ronald Weintraub, 43 (bile-duct cancer); and Stephen "Rak" Yurek, 46, a Port Authority emergency technician (brain cancer). The families say they were healthy before 9/11. Dr. Robin Herbert, a director of WTC medical monitoring at Mount Sinai Hospital, said some of the nearly 16,000 responders screened to date are getting cancer. "We do not know at this point if they are WTC-related, but some are unusual cancers we see as red flags," Herbert said. Dr. Iris Udasin, principal investigator for the Mount Sinai screening of 500 in New Jersey, said the 9/11 link is "certainly a possibility," she said. "It's what we worry about, and what we fear."
    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*****************

  4. #44
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    June 26, 2006 -- David Miller coughed into a napkin, leaving behind a quarter-sized smear of blood. The hacking is a constant reminder of the 10 days the National Guardsman spent clearing debris at Ground Zero. Forty-eight hours after he arrived in the smoking aftermath of the Sept. 11 attack, Miller said yesterday, the health effects from airborne debris were obvious and severe. "I was practically blind, I was coughing, I had blisters all up and down my arms," he said. "If I'd been smart I wouldn't have gone back." Today, Miller's health is crumbling. The 39-year-old Bronx construction worker said he suffers chronic lung infections, skin rashes and a 60 percent drop in lung capacity. Miller and several other 9/11 first responders spoke yesterday about lingering health problems at The Community Church of New York on East 35th Street in Manhattan. The forum is part of a series of lectures, films and public protests organized by the nonprofit group New York 9/11 Truth. The organization accuses the government of covering up intelligence failures leading to the attacks and allowing first responders to work in toxic conditions at Ground Zero, among other charges.
    The event came just days after a U.S. Federal Court judge in Manhattan heard a pretrial motion in an ongoing lawsuit against the City of New York brought by more than 8,000 police officers, firefighters and others claiming their health was harmed by exposure to toxic materials at Ground Zero. The city has moved to dismiss the suit, arguing it has legal immunity.Yesterday's panel included several first responders who related their experiences at the site following the attack on the World Trade Center, as well as the long-term health problems they say resulted from breathing toxins at Ground Zero. In addition to these failures, many spoke of lingering psychological effects. Kevin McPadden, a former Air Force medic, said he came to the rubble pile alone on Sept. 11 and spent the next four days searching nearby buildings for bodies and survivors. He said he continues to struggle with depression and anger stemming from his days of working at Ground Zero. Since Sept. 11 he said he's had trouble keeping a job. "Every day is a challenge," he said. "I really don't feel alive. I'm a very bitter man."
    In addition to first responders, the panel included Janette MacKinlay, author of a book describing her 9/11 experiences, who lived across the street from the World Trade Center. MacKinlay was home on the morning of Sept. 11 and she said the windows of her home were blown in when the towers collapsed. MacKinlay sharply criticized what she called the government's failure to address health problems of first responders. "This injustice has become part of the grief and trauma of 9/11," she said.Event organizer Les Jamieson said the forum's purpose was to raise awareness of health problems and other issues associated with working at Ground Zero. "Many people who breathed that air, they won't get sick until eight, 10 years later," he said. "This story is just beginning to unfold." Jamieson also said the event was an opportunity for people who felt they should have been compensated under the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund to have their stories told. "We're not just talking about health here. There are serious financial and psychological issues as well, and a lot of people are being left out in the cold," he said.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
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    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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  5. #45
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    What the city is doing is f'ing despicable.

    I hope you and your brothers find resolution for this.

  6. #46
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    Maybe windbags like Ann Coulter and Michael Moore should use their pie holes to do something CONSTRUCTIVE like spreading the message that the tragedy of September 11th 2001 is continuing to unfold. I dont hear the right, the left or the center saying anything. They should be SCREAMING. Ray, I pray for you, your Brothers and Sisters and everyone else that worked on or near that pile. This is a NATIONAL DISGRACE.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    An alarming number of 9/11?01 responders have been stricken with brain cancer - including six NYPD cops, The Post has learned. At least 11 of the Ground Zero rescue and recovery workers and their families claim in a class-action lawsuit - which includes dozens of other cancer victims - that toxic air and dust caused or triggered the rare, often fatal, brain illness. The six NYPD cops with brain cancer range in age from 33 to 49. Other brain-cancer victims include 2 FDNY fireman, 55 and 48, a female Red Cross social worker, 58, a male Tischman construction worker, 40, a male city transportation worker, 48, and a male city environmental protection worker, 49.
    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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    Default Ground Zero Cancer Curse

    July 9, 2006 -- More than 40 World Trade Center rescue and recovery workers have been hit with two cancers - a double whammy they claim stemmed from deadly toxins. The twice-struck are among 330 Ground Zero responders with cancer who have joined 5,000 cops, firefighters and other workers in a class-action suit against the city, said lawyer David Worby. They include Reggie Hilaire, now 35, a rookie NYPD cop on 9/11 who logged 890 hours digging through WTC debris at the Fresh Kills landfill and patrolling Ground Zero. A nonsmoker, he beat thyroid cancer last year, only to learn this year he has multiple myeloma, a blood cancer. "I can't believe this - another cancer?" said Hilaire, the married dad of a 1-year-old. "I feel like, 'What's going to happen next?' I want to see my son grow up." Other dual-cancer victims include a female NYPD cop, 40 (tongue and myeloma); a Con-Ed worker, 39 (stomach and testicular); a sanitation worker, 48 (liver and leukemia); a housing worker, 39 (throat and liver); and an NYPD cop, 55 (bladder and kidney). Hilaire, now on limited duty in East Harlem, wrote to The Post after reading about the growing list of 9/11 cancer cases. "I thought I was the only one," he said. Worby lists 24 other 9/11 responders with thyroid cancer. He contends lethal combinations of dioxins, PCBs and benzene accelerated carcinogens - triggering various cancers - while pulverized metals like lead, mercury and cadmium weakened the immune system. "It's a knockout punch," he said. Public-health experts said the cancer toll deserves close attention. "Sadly, it's not surprising. This was the worst toxic-waste site in history," said Donna Flayhan, director of the Lower Manhattan Public Health Project. "We're just seeing the tip of the iceberg now, and it's scary." Epidemiologist Colin Begg of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center said doctors can gauge whether WTC toxins caused cancer by comparing cancer rates in 9/11 workers with normal rates in the same sex and age groups. "If I were the government, I'd want to look at these numbers and do a rough calculation to see if they suggest an increased risk, and whether to do a much more careful study," Begg said.
    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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    July 18, 2006 -- Heartless city officials denied family members of a hero cop who died after working at Ground Zero the pension they're entitled to - because he was on his deathbed and couldn't sign the paperwork, his wife charges in a lawsuit. Ronald Weintraub, a muscular 43-year-old father of two assigned to Midtown South, died of liver-related bile-duct cancer on Nov. 16. "I'm shocked. It sure is a slap in the face. Ronnie did things for the city and the city is doing nothing for him. All I want is fairness," said his widow, Eileen, who filed suit in Manhattan state Supreme Court. "I'm trying to care for my family through Ronnie. He told me, 'I'm not afraid of dying. But I'm afraid of having my children without a daddy.' " Weintraub worked at the World Trade Center site more than 100 hours after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Patrolmen's Benevolent Association said. A state law, approved last year, presumptively provides disability benefits to 9/11 workers who've fallen ill from toxic exposure. But the city's Police Pension Fund denied Weintraub and his family a disability pension, which would have entitled them to 85 percent to 90 percent of his final salary, plus medical benefits, PBA officials said. Instead, the Weintraubs received a regular pension, at half salary and far fewer benefits. The reason: Weintraub never filled out the paperwork himself. The police pension board rejected his disability-pension application in March because it was signed by a PBA representative. His widow - who has been left to care for her two children, Daniella, 9, and Ryan, 4 - said there's a very good reason her husband didn't fill out the form. He was dying. She said the city should admit a mistake and provide the benefits, as it did in the case of former Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington, who suffers from respiratory illness from working at Ground Zero. Mayor Bloombag dropped the city's fight to block workers' compensation benefits for Washington after The Post highlighted his case. In Weintraub's court papers, PBA lawyer Michael Murray called the city's decision against Weintraub "hypertechnical" and counter to the intent of the World Trade Center disability law.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
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    LT. John Ginley Engine 40
    FF. Bruce Gary Engine 40
    FF. Jimmy Giberson Ladder 35
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    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*****************

  10. #50
    Forum Member RspctFrmCalgary's Avatar
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    What a sad state of affairs. And how daunting to realize this is only the beginning and will go on for years and years and years.

    Slap in the face indeed.
    September 11th - Never Forget

    I respect firefighters and emergency workers worldwide. Thank you for what you do.

    Sheri
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    RAY WAS HERE FIRST

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    When the towers came down, thousands of rescuers and helpers responded from all over North America. Many came without the permission or knowledge of their respective Departments. I wonder how this will affect them if they suffer the same fate?
    IACOJ

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    July 23, 2006 -- They rallied for New York and America in the terrible hours after the World Trade Center collapsed - and ever since, thousands have paid with their health. Some have given their lives. Forty-thousand-strong, they labored at Ground Zero under miserable conditions in a time of crisis, working 10 and 12 hours a day to search for the lost, extinguish underground fires and haul off 2 million tons of rubble. As a direct result, well over 12,000 are sick today, having suffered lasting damage to their respiratory systems. In increasing numbers, they are the forgotten victims of 9/11. The toll has risen steadily over the past five years, yet no one in power - not Gov. Pataki, not Mayor Bloombag, not the state and city health commissioners, not the U.S. government - has acknowledged the epidemic's scope, much less confronted it for the public health disaster that it is.

    They cough.

    They wheeze.

    Their heads and faces pound with the pressure of swollen sinuses.

    They lose their breath with minor exertion.

    They suffer the suffocation of asthma and diseases that attack the very tissues of their lungs.

    They endure acid reflux, a painful indigestion that never goes away.

    They are haunted by the mental and emotional traumas of having witnessed horror.

    Many are too disabled to work.


    And some have died. There is overwhelming evidence that at least four Ground Zero responders - a firefighter, two police officers and an Emergency Medical Service paramedic - suffered fatal illnesses as a consequence of inhaling the airborne poisons that were loosed when the pulverized remains of the twin towers erupted seismically into the sky. The measure of how New York and Washington failed the 9/11 responders starts with the fact that after a half-decade, no one has a grip on the scope of the suffering. The known census of the ill starts at more than 12,000 people who have been monitored or treated in the two primary medical services for Ground Zero workers, one run by the Fire Department, the other by the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program based at Mount Sinai Medical Center. In the Fire Department, more than 600 firefighters - soon to be 700 - have been forced into retirement because they were deemed permanently disabled. Most suffer from asthma that disqualifies them from battling blazes. And fully 25% of the FDNY's active fire and EMS forces have lung-related conditions - more than 3,400 people in all. At the Mount Sinai program, where physicians are monitoring the health of 16,000 cops, construction workers and others, Dr. Stephen Levin estimates that from half to two-thirds of the patients are similarly sick. That works out to at least 8,000 people and pushes the tally of the ill over 12,000. The count goes up from there among the thousands of responders who are not enrolled in either program. How far up, nobody knows. But doctors are all too aware that the general prognosis for the sick is not good. While treatment has helped many to improve, few have regained their health. "I think that probably a few more years down the road we will find that a relatively small proportion will be able to say, 'I am as good as I was back on Sept. 10, 2001,' " said Levin. Typical is the case of NYPD Officer Steven Mayfield, who logged more than 400 hours at the perimeter of what became known as The Pile and suffers from sarcoidosis, a disease that scars the tissues of the lungs; shortness of breath; chronic sinusitis, and sleep apnea. "My lungs are damaged; they will never be the same," said Mayfield, 44. Still more frightening: Serious new conditions may soon begin to emerge. Top pulmonary specialists say lung-scarring diseases and tumors generally begin to show up five to 20 years after toxic exposure, a time frame that's about to begin. Some responders have received excellent care. The FDNY's medical service, led by Dr. Kerry Kelly and Dr. David Prezant, has delivered first-rate monitoring and treatment to more than 13,700 active and retired firefighters and EMS workers. But the rest of the Ground Zero responders have not been nearly so well served. Most of them - from police to construction workers - are eligible for monitoring and treatment through the Mount Sinai program. The center's leaders, Dr. Robin Herbert and Levin, are among the world's experts in occupational health, but they have been badly hobbled by a lack of funding. The wait for treatment is four months, and doctors are able to schedule followup appointments less frequently than they would like. In even worse shape are an estimated 10,000 federal workers who participated in the Ground Zero effort. The government promised to create a program specially for them, and then reneged. The federal workers are on their own.

    The big lie

    The betrayal of the 9/11 responders began with a lie that reverberates to this day. When the twin towers collapsed, the remains of 200,000 tons of steel, 600,000 square feet of window glass, 5,000 tons of asbestos, 12,000 miles of electric cables and 425,000 cubic yards of concrete crashed to the ground and then spewed into the air. To the mix were added 24,000 gallons of jet fuel burning as hot as 1,300 degrees. At The Pile, the air was "darker than a sealed vault and thicker than pea soup," in the description of one deputy fire chief. But officials pronounced that would-be rescuers were safe. As then-U.S. Environmental Protection Administrator Christie Whitman put it in a press release on Thursday, Sept. 14, 2001: "Monitoring and sampling conducted on Tuesday and Wednesday have been very reassuring about potential exposure of rescue workers and the public to environmental contamination." Two weeks later, Mayor Rudy Giuliani said rescue workers faced minimal risk because the air quality was "safe and acceptable."
    In truth, those who rushed to the scene were at the epicenter of "the largest acute environmental disaster that ever has befallen New York City," according to a 2004 analysis by several dozen scientists in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives. In truth, every breath at Ground Zero was noxious to health and even to life.

    A cauldron of toxins

    The Environmental Health Perspectives report cited the presence in the air of highly alkaline concrete dust, glass fibers and cancer-causing asbestos, as well as particles of lead, chlorine, antimony, aluminum, titanium, magnesium, iron, zinc and calcium. The flaming fuel and burning plastics released carcinogens including dioxins, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, polychlorinated biphenyls and polychlorinated furans. Almost immediately, the toxic cloud began burning the lungs of the responders because most were not provided with, or did not wear, proper respiratory protection. Hundreds soon started coughing up pebbles and black or gray phlegm, and, for most, symptoms steadily worsened. The false assurance of safety and the failure to adequately equip the workers has opened the city and its construction contractors to potentially huge liability. More than 8,000 responders have joined a lawsuit that has targeted a $1 billion federal insurance fund established after 9/11 to facilitate the recovery work. So the lawyers, not the doctors, have taken charge. The city's chief attorney, Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo, says, for example, that he is confident Ground Zero workers have been provided with appropriate medical attention and disability benefits. This may be wise to argue for the purpose of limiting liability, but it's destructive denial as a public health strategy. Never did the state health commissioner, Dr. Antonia Novello, or the city health commissioner - Dr. Neal Cohen in the days immediately after 9/11, Dr. Thomas Frieden since January 2002 - step forward to lead a crusade that marshaled the resources of New York's vast public and private health systems. Nor did Cohen or Frieden ever issue protocols advising physicians on recognizing and treating syndromes generated by World Trade Center exposures. Inexcusably, Cohen failed to disseminate advisories at a time when the Giuliani administration was declaring all was safe at The Pile, and Frieden's staff is only now getting around to completing its first bulletin. Nor did the Police Department establish a system for tracking the prevalence of illnesses such as asthma among the thousands of cops who worked at The Pile. The police surgeon, Dr. Eli Kleinman, says he believes there hasn't been more than "a blip" in lung-related ailments - which would be a truly remarkable outcome compared with the 25% of the Fire Department that is counted as having 9/11 aftereffects. The city Health Department in 2003 did establish the World Trade Center Health Registry, inviting people who worked at Ground Zero or lived in the area to report their health conditions. More than 71,000 provided information, and the department is in the midst of conducting a followup survey. The data are likely to prove highly valuable when the department finishes crunching the numbers. But that milestone is planned for next year, astonishingly long to wait when the unaddressed needs of the sick have been building since 2001 and are so large at this very moment. Frustrated by the response to 9/11-related illnesses, Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Vito Fossella in February won the appointment of Dr. John Howard as federal Ground Zero health coordinator. Howard's valuable presence should be taken as a rebuke to all the local officials who allowed this health crisis to fester for half a decade. But Howard is hardly the solution. As director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the doctor has a schedule that is quite booked. Nor does Howard have the capacity to do a great deal. He has no special budget and no special staff, and he can only study and recommend. Far more is required.

    A cry for leadership

    What's urgently needed is dynamic leadership by someone with the muscle and brains to tackle the World Trade Center health crisis on all fronts - medical, legal, social, political and more. The person who best fits the bill today is Michael Bloombag. As the 108th mayor of the City of New York, Bloombag commands vast municipal resources, occupies an unparalleled bully pulpit from which to prod other levels of government, has a deep, long-standing commitment to public health and, most important, knows how to get things done. And it is simply inconceivable that he would not act were he to inquire deeply into the facts. Were the mayor to ask Herbert and Levin, he would find out that Mount Sinai's doctors succeeded only this year in getting the okay for the first federal funding for treatment, that patients frequently arrive at Mount Sinai after being misdiagnosed or improperly treated by family physicians and that Ground Zero responders are seeking help in increasing numbers because they haven't gotten better with time or have developed new illnesses. Were the mayor to speak with Dr. Alison Geyh, assistant professor at his namesake Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, he would learn that a program aimed at tracking the health of Ground Zero's "invisible" recovery workers - heavy equipment operators, sanitation workers, truck drivers and laborers - stopped for lack of money after less than two years. "It took a year to get this labor-intensive project up and running, only to have its funding stream cut off 18 months later," said Geyh. "It's been frustrating and a lost opportunity." Were the mayor to talk to Kelly and Prezant at the Fire Department, or to Herbert and Levin at Mount Sinai, or to their colleague Dr. Alvin Teirstein, an eminent lung specialist, he would hear calls for long-term monitoring for cancers and other diseases that could emerge among Trade Center responders in the coming years. And, were the mayor to spend time with any of the 8,000 responders who are suing the city, he would hear the voices of fury and fear. Their anger is well grounded in that they were lied to, but it is far less clear that each of their illnesses, among them brain and blood cancers, is attributable to Ground Zero exposures. Still, lacking authoritative, trustworthy information, they live under agonizing shadows. It is vitally important for Bloombag to take charge. To take the full measure of this growing epidemic. To devise appropriately funded treatment programs so that all 9/11 responders have access to the quality of care provided to firefighters. To establish monitoring systems that can detect swiftly the emergence of new diseases or improved treatments. To create a clearinghouse that would inform workers and physicians about illnesses and proper treatments, and keep them up to date on the latest developments. To begin to acknowledge that service after 9/11 did, in fact, cause fatalities, rather than let city officials keep insisting that there is no absolute, total scientific proof that anyone died from illnesses contracted at Ground Zero. To galvanize the federal government into supporting long-term monitoring and treatment programs. To review disability and pension benefits afforded to 9/11 responders with an eye on eliminating gross inequities. While firefighters and cops have been granted extremely liberal, even overly liberal, line-of-duty retirement benefits, thousands are trapped in a workers' compensation system that is ill-suited to treat them fairly. When the call came, the instant the first hijacked jet knifed into the north tower of the World Trade Center, the Ground Zero recovery army surged to the aid of their fellow human beings without a thought as to their own safety. After the buildings collapsed, they worked long and hard to bring New York back from the worst attack on U.S. soil. But they were lied to and they were badly equipped, and then, when they became sick, as many physicians predicted they would, far too many were abandoned. Decency demands better.
    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*****************

  13. #53
    This space for rent NYSmokey's Avatar
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    IMHO, this was all about money. There is no way that the federal, state, and city government did not know about the levels of dangerous s**t down there. Once the towers fell, some politicians main priority was to get people to "resume life as normal." They didn't want lower Manhattan to become a ghost town so they lied to everyone about the quality of the air. Who knows how many lives have been lost since then due to WTC related illnesses. The firefighters are being monitored (rightfully so) and they all had physicals prior to 9/11 as a baseline. These were people in good to excellent physical condition and now some of them have the lungs of the elderly. If you or I went out and spewed chemicals into the street and caused the death or serious injury to thousands, our *****es would be in prison. As for Christie Todd Whitman, she is a MUTT in my eyes but I also think she was a puppet. The decision to lie about the air samples came from a much higher level probably all in the name of "national security."

    My thoughts and prayers are with all of the 9/11 survivors, emergency services personnel that responded, and residents that were exposed to this toxic mix.
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member

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    Death sentence

    Breathing WTC toxins killed Firefighter Stephen Johnson. Michelle Godbee and children Imani (l.) and Kai lost husband and father James Godbee to WTC illness. Ground Zero poisons took Debbie Reeve from husband David and children Elizabeth and Mark.

    Stephen Johnson served New York with valor for 21 years as a firefighter on the nation's preeminent force. He was a man who put the safety of others above his own. He loved the work - and it cost him his life.
    On Aug. 6, 2004, Stephen Johnson died from service in the line of duty at age 47. Yet the rolls of honor do not bear his name, nor has the mayor or the fire commissioner stood in public tribute to this fallen hero.

    For Stephen Johnson is a forgotten victim of 9/11.

    The official record carries Johnson as a retired firefighter who passed away after a heart attack and a bout with a lung ailment two years after he left the force. This is because, callously and in disregard of overwhelming evidence, the City of New York has refused to acknowledge even the likelihood that working around the smoldering rubble of the World Trade Center proved fatal to anyone.

    But that is precisely what killed Johnson, whose death stands as the earliest Ground Zero fatality from disease for which cause and effect has been established.

    And it is precisely what killed Police Officer James Godbee.

    And it is precisely what killed Detective James Zadroga.

    And it is precisely what killed Emergency Medical Service Paramedic Debbie Reeve.

    They were among the 40,000 people who pulled together in the drive to restore New York's footing after 9/11. Today, more than 12,000 members of that brave army are ill because they were exposed to the toxic cloud that hovered over what became known as The Pile.

    Officials falsely assured them the air was safe. Most were not provided with or did not wear respiratory protection.

    The vast majority of the sick suffered damage to their respiratory tracts from breathing air thick with particles, including concrete dust, pulverized glass and asbestos. The materials, in effect, burned the air passages, causing inflamed sinuses, bronchitis and reactive airways dysfunction syndrome, or RADS, an irritant-induced asthma.

    A smaller number of Ground Zero responders contracted even more serious illnesses, and some died. How many developed their conditions as a consequence of working at The Pile cannot now be established, and medical experts are skeptical about proving a causal relationship in most cases.

    But there can be no reasonable doubt that Ground Zero service cost Johnson, Godbee, Zadroga and Reeve their lives. Where Johnson and Reeve are concerned, the FDNY's top physicians, Drs. Kerry Kelly and David Prezant, say they believe this is so. The evidence is just as strong for Godbee and Zadroga.

    "How else do you account for it?" Kelly said, referring to Reeve's death.

    It is long past time to set the record straight about fatalities among the forgotten victims of 9/11 — to honor those who have died, to keep faith with history and to provide the sick with the fullest information.

    It's time for Mayor Bloomberg to recognize Johnson, Godbee, Zadroga and Reeve as heroes who died from illnesses sustained in the line of duty, and to express New York's gratitude to their loved ones.

    It's time for the mayor, upon whom we have called to lead a campaign for all forgotten victims of 9/11, to declare that New York owes the Johnson, Godbee, Zadroga and Reeve families every possible benefit — and to order city lawyers to stop unconscionably fighting against giving the families their due.

    It's time to confront what happened to Johnson, Godbee, Zadroga and Reeve in the knowledge that medical experts say others may well develop serious, even fatal, illnesses as the 9/11 health disaster unfolds. Let them not be forgotten, too.

    Stephen Johnson

    Heroism came naturally to Stephen Johnson — as Linda Kalodner learned firsthand.

    On March 11, 1999, Kalodner was the mother of 6-month-old twins, and she and the babies were trapped by a fire on the ninth floor of a Manhattan building. Up a fully extended tower ladder came Johnson and his partner Matt Barnes.

    Strapped to the top of the aerial, arms and legs stretched as far as possible, Barnes took the infants from Kalodner and passed them to Johnson, who carried the babies to safety. The partners were feted at City Hall, and the Daily News named Barnes its Hero of the Month. Less than two years later, Barnes was killed on 9/11 and Johnson went to work at Ground Zero, there when the toxic cloud was thickest, there when the job required wading in dust up to his knees. He was a big, strapping guy, fit and healthy, and his every breath moved him closer to death.

    In April 2002, still healthy, Johnson retired from a job that was a joy of his life. "Next to me, it was the only other thing he loved," said his widow, Rose.

    Early in 2004, Johnson became short of breath while shoveling snow. Over the next few weeks, his shortness of breath worsened. That March, he went to a hospital, where doctors feared he was suffering a heart attack. That wasn't the case, and that May he was diagnosed with interstitial lung disease, or ILD.

    Caused by inhaling irritants, ILD is a rare condition found, for example, in miners who work amid coal dust. The presence of particles in the lung provokes the body to try to combat them as it would fight a germ. The immune system surrounds the particles with cells that build up into nodules known as granulomas. Granulomas retard breathing, can cause lesions and lead to irreversible scarring, called fibrosis, on oxygen-extracting tissues.

    By the time Johnson was diagnosed, 80% of his lungs had been destroyed. He required oxygen 24 hours a day, and joined the waiting list for a lung transplant. But he never got that far. Suffocating, Johnson suffered a fatal heart attack.

    After 15 years of marriage, Rose Johnson lives by herself in Queens. She shies from criticizing city officials for their failure to honor her husband as the first Ground Zero responder to die from an illness contracted there. Nor does she complain that, until today, the circumstances of her husband's illness and death have never been reported. But the pain is obvious in her voice when she recounts her memories of his loss. Only when she points out that the Bravest at her local firehouse give her all the support she asks for does her voice brighten.

    Rose Johnson has her husband's pension, but not the full-salary death benefit given to the widows of firefighters who die in the line of duty. Spouses of retirees are not eligible.

    James Godbee

    James Godbee was the next responder to die after contracting an interstitial lung disease.

    A 19-year NYPD veteran and father of two, Godbee worked at Ground Zero for 12 to 15 hours a day for 80 days from Sept. 13, 2001, to June 2002. Never did he wear respiratory equipment.

    In November 2003, Godbee developed a cough, shortness of breath, joint pains, fever, weight loss and swelling in his salivary and tear glands. Based on a chest X-ray three months later, his doctors suspected sarcoidosis, a form of ILD.

    Dr. Frank Accera, a pulmonary specialist at Beth Israel Medical Center, performed a biopsy, during which Godbee's lung collapsed. The test confirmed the diagnosis.

    Sarcoidosis is believed to be caused by contact with irritating foreign substances, but no irritant has ever been identified as its trigger. In addition to the lungs, the illness attacks organs such as the heart, skin and kidneys. Treatable and rarely fatal, sarcoidosis can lead to "progressive multi-organ failure in an unfortunate minority" of cases, according to a 1997 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

    High dosages of a steroid got Godbee's symptoms under control, but the drug made him sick to his stomach. Over the next seven months, Godbee's lung distress fluctuated as he tried to wean off the steroid, and, feeling generally better, he stopped seeing Accera in October 2004.

    Godbee's wife, Michelle, a school guidance counselor, said her husband continued to work. On Dec. 30, 2004, he felt "a little down, a little sick," but he nonetheless took the couple's daughter to a Jim Carrey movie, Michelle Godbee said. At 9:45, he returned to the family's apartment in Manhattan's Stuyvesant Town, gave his daughter "a long hug good night," and minutes later suffered a seizure.

    "I called 911. They told me to put him on the floor," Michelle Godbee said. "I heard his lungs go down. He was pronounced DOA at the hospital."

    James Godbee was 44. An autopsy found granuloma in his lungs, colon and heart. In his report on the case, Accera wrote: "It is with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that I conclude that Mr. Godbee's exposure to and inhalation of the toxic materials present at the WTC site after the events of Sept. 11, 2001, either caused or aggravated his sarcoidosis and ultimately caused his death."

    Regardless, the NYPD pension board ruled Godbee had not contracted sarcoidosis in the line of duty, stating the condition is "not known to be related to employment in the police force." The board denied his family the enhanced benefits afforded to cops who die in the line of duty. When Michelle Godbee took the matter to court, city lawyers fought her petition — even barring FDNY doctors, experts in sarcoidosis, from testifying. A judge returned the matter to the board for further review.

    James Zadroga

    On Jan. 5 of this year, homicide Detective James Zadroga became the third responder to succumb to interstitial lung disease.

    On the force for six years, Zadroga was inside 7 World Trade Center as the building began to collapse. He escaped and returned to Ground Zero, spending more than 450 hours there and at the Staten Island landfill, where the rubble from the Trade Center was carted. He wore only a paper mask.

    Within a few weeks, Zadroga began to cough. Over the next months, the formerly healthy 29-year-old developed severe shortness of breath, acid reflux and sleep apnea. He began passing out and, coughing incessantly, was unable to walk more than 100 feet without gasping.

    Zadroga's downward spiral forced him onto extended sick leave. By 2003, he required oxygen 24 hours a day. He was rejected three times for a line-of-duty disability pension; the retirement system's medical board said he hadn't proven a connection between his Ground Zero work and his illness.

    Only on Zadroga's fourth appeal did the doctors come around. He retired Nov. 1, 2004. Fourteen months later, with his 4-year-old daughter Tylerann asleep by his side, Zadroga died at age 34. He was a widower with $50,000 in medical bills. Grandparents took custody of the orphaned Tylerann.

    The coroner's report listed the cause of death as "granulomatous pneumonitis."

    "It is felt with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the cause of death in this case was directly related to the 9/11 incident," wrote Ocean County, N.J., pathologist Dr. Gerard Breton. His report, often cited as the first official confirmation that service on The Pile had proven fatal, was dismissed by city officials as inconclusive.

    Debbie Reeve

    Debbie Reeve joined the EMS in 1989, working first as an emergency medical technician and then as a paramedic. Assigned to a haz-mat unit, she spent more than six months collecting human remains from The Pile and staffing a Ground Zero morgue.

    Early in 2004, Reeve developed a cough and shortness of breath after exertion. Her doctor diagnosed flu and pneumonia and prescribed antibiotics that proved useless. Out of sick time, she asked for clearance to return to work, which required a chest X-ray because of her haz-mat status. The X-ray led to the discovery of mesothelioma, a rare cancer caused by asbestos.

    From late 2004 until late 2005, Reeve underwent chemotherapy, followed by removal of her right lung and part of her diaphragm. She had radiation and was declared cancer-free.

    Six weeks later, Reeve starting having pain in her leg and hip, and X-rays showed mottling in her thigh bones — a sign the cancer had returned. In January 2006, doctors removed infected marrow from her legs, but a month later they found cancer in her back, lung and spine.

    On March 15, Reeve died at age 41, leaving an 11-year-old daughter and a 6-year-old son.

    Before her death, Reeve had become the first WTC responder to be granted a three-quarters disability pension under a special bill signed in Albany, but she died before receiving a single check. Her husband, David, also an FDNY paramedic, is now battling for workers' compensation coverage of $90,000 in medical bills. Opposing him is the city Law Department, where attorneys have argued both that he didn't file his claim within a required deadline and that there's no proof Reeve developed mesothelioma from working at Ground Zero.

    Johnson, Godbee, Zadroga and Reeve are but four of the 9/11 responders who have suffered serious illnesses. David Worby, a lawyer waging a suit on behalf of 8,000 WTC responders and their survivors, says, for example, that more than 170 of his clients have developed cancers and 57 have died.

    Whether those cancers trace to Ground Zero is a matter of conjecture, but fear is widespread among those who served. This is understandable. What is not understandable has been the refusal of city officials to admit even a probability that 9/11 service led to any death.

    Health Commissioner Thomas Frieden exemplified the attitude when he said he would be "surprised" if Zadroga's suffocation could be conclusively linked to particles breathed in at Ground Zero. The coroner, he said, had not tested the materials in Zadroga's lungs to see if they matched exactly with substances at The Pile.

    True enough, but that hypertechnicality is far outweighed by the body of evidence.

    Johnson, Godbee, Zadroga and Reeve were healthy, relatively young nonsmokers before they spent hundreds of hours in the poisonous cloud at The Pile.

    They contracted diseases triggered by inhaling substances that irritate the lungs.

    Other 9/11 responders came down with the same rare illness, interstitial lung disease, suffered by Johnson, Zadroga and Godbee and survived. Two firefighters and a civilian worker got the type of ILD that struck Johnson and Zadroga; 20 firefighters got the variation, sarcoidosis, that felled Godbee. Among the survivors, the conditions are generally accepted as being caused by WTC toxins.

    Mesothelioma, Reeve's cancer, is found overwhelmingly in people who have breathed in asbestos. What's surprising is only the speed with which the disease came on after Reeve was exposed, said the FDNY's Kelly.

    Stephen Johnson, James Godbee, James Zadroga and Debbie Reeve died because they served New York in a time of need. Then they were forgotten. Now Mayor Bloomberg must give them the honor they deserve.
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member

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    July 24, 2006 -- The number of 9/11 legal actions filed against the city have tripled in the last year - with more World Trade Center emergency responders claiming that toxic air at Ground Zero has made them ill, The Post has learned. A staggering 1,122 notices of claim were filed against the city for the 2006 fiscal year, which ended June 30, Comptroller William Thompson's office reported. There were just 361 cases filed during the same period in fiscal 2005, meaning that the number of claims skyrocketed 311 percent. The Comptroller's Office monitors notices of claims, which potential plaintiffs are required to file before suing the city. The number of lawsuits is up, too. Plaintiffs filed 317 suits related to toxic substances at the WTC site in fiscal 2006 - up from 111 a year earlier, the city Law Department reported. That's a 286 percent increase. Many of the plaintiffs are joining a 9/11 class-action negligence suit in Manhattan federal court that alleges the city failed to protect them from hazardous conditions at Ground Zero. An attorney in the class-action suit confirmed that he's filed more claims on behalf of sick cops, firefighters and other responders who toiled at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11. "It's an alarming increase in the number of injuries from the World Trade Center exposure," said Paul Napoli of Worby Groner Edelman Napoli & Bern. "The illnesses are more serious. These people are getting worse." Potential Plaintiffs have 455 days to sue after being diagnosed with an illness. About 300 current plaintiffs have cancer, and at least 35 have died. "There will continue to be a trend upward," Napoli said. About 6,000 plaintiffs are already part of the litigation, said David Worby, another lawyer in the case. He expects that number to soar to 8,000. Firefighter Ed Kennedy is one of the plaintiffs. "There's something wrong with my lungs," said Kennedy, who got buried under a car when the first tower fell. "I can't run up and down the stairs. I'm wheezing every night. I'm worried down the road what's going to happen to me." The city downplayed the rise in legal actions. "An increase in claims or lawsuits does not necessarily mean an increase in illnesses relating to World Trade Center work," said Kenneth Becker, chief of the Law Department's World Trade Center Unit. The city is fighting to have the negligence case dismissed, arguing that it is immune from liability in a national catastrophe and that it did all it could to protect workers at Ground Zero. The city has received $1 billion in federal funds to cover 9/11 litigation claims.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
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  16. #56
    Forum Member res54cuecaptain's Avatar
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    damn..........how could it come to this??? those people put their lives on the line to help fellow brothers and sisters and they are slowly dying from diseases all because some politics decided to lie just so they could 'keep everyone calm'. well, now everybody is anything BUT calm....and nobody should be 'punished' like that for helping people at 9/11
    my heart goes out to all of the people effected by those diseases, as well as their families. my heart also goes out to the families of those who have moved on to a better place because of it......rest in piece brothers and sisters....
    First in, Last out, nobody left behind.....

  17. #57
    Forum Member Res45cuE's Avatar
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    Thumbs down Finally the media pays attention...

    E40, I was surprised last night and tonight by the NYC media coverage this issue is FINALLY receiving. I understand the PD/ FD are now compiling detailed lists of those MOS who responded? The city's response to this is pathetic- it all comes down to the almighty dollar. Classify all of these and subsequent deaths as line-of-duty, end of issue. As an eerie post-script, I distinctly recall getting on a bus with FDNY guys as we were leaving the site on Thurs night/ Fri Morning 7-13/14-01. One of the crusty, senior guys sitting on the bus turned to his partner and calmly said, "You know, we're all going to get cancer from this #%*." I couldn't believe how calm he was- not angry, not griping, just matter-of-fact. I have never forgotten that, and it is sadly coming true in the forms of these respiratory ailments.

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    MembersZone Subscriber CJMinick390's Avatar
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    How long will the city and others continue to ignore the 5,000 pound gorilla sitting in the corner?
    Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
    Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1

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    I.A.C.O.J. Building crust and proud of it

  19. #59
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    The city is using a big slice of the $1 billion it got from the feds post-9/11 to fight first responders who claim they got sick on the site, a lawyer who is suing the city charged yesterday. David Worby, who is waging a suit on behalf of 8,000 WTC responders and their survivors, said $20 million has been "spent on city lawyers to deny the claims of cops, firefighters and others who were sickened." "That money should be used to help these people," he said. "Take $100 million from the billion, Mr. Mayor, and set up a proper registry" to monitor the health of those who toiled at Ground Zero. There was no immediate response to Worby's accusation from Mayor Bloombag, but the city contends it is allowed to tap funds from the World Trade Center Captive Insurance Company to defend itself against claims. The federally funded entity was set up after the 9/11 attacks because no commercial insurance company would take on the risk. Bloombag promised to look into whether the city stiffed its 9/11 heroes. So far, he hasn't acknowledged that the deaths of at least four first responders - and the illnesses of thousands more - were directly related to their toiling amid the toxins of Ground Zero. Yesterday, Gov. Pataki also vowed to do right by the ailing workers. "I have directed all relevant state agencies to follow up on these reports and ensure that critical treatment and compensation for injuries suffered as a result of their involvement in the rescue, recovery and cleanup efforts is accessible to each and every one of our heroes." Worby wasn't the only City Hall critic yesterday who accused Bloombag of pinching pennies while Ground Zero heroes are suffering. Peter Meringolo, president of the Correction Captains' Association and chairman of the state Public Employee Conference, said the city is sitting on a $5 billion surplus and some of that dough should be used to help 9/11's forgotten victims. "I really don't want to hear it's not in the city budget because that's nonsense," Meringolo said. "The mayor talks about productivity. If risking your life after 9/11 isn't productivity, I don't know what is." "Currently there are also over 100 firefighters that FDNY doctors have deemed as too permanently disabled to continue working as firefighters, yet the city won't allow them to retire," added Steve Cassidy, head of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. "If we are not going to take care of the rescuers, what type of message does that send?"
    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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    E40FDNY,

    Where are you getting this info?

    I'd like to know, because the public needs to know about this. Naturally, if you post this in a firefighter forum, we're gonna get ****ed that the city is denying claims of ill firefighters. I'm just wondering if there is a public newspaper or magazine that is spreading this info to the voters and taxpayers of New York, because if they still give a damn, they could do more than a few firefighters on a website. (Though if you need a petition signed, I'll go get my pen)

    343 + ?
    "Yeah, but as I've always said, this country has A.D.D." - Denis Leary

    http://www.lettertogop.com/

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