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  1. #61
    This space for rent NYSmokey's Avatar
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    A fair amount of the information posted has come from the NY Daily News. They have done a series of articles this month exposing the poor treatment of the emergency responders who were at the WTC on 9/11 and for the many months afterward. The Daily News is one of the most popular NY papers so I am sure people are reading about it now. What will be done about this disgusting situation involving all levels of government is the big question.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member


  2. #62
    FIREMAN 1st GRADE E40FDNYL35's Avatar
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    Default 'Secret' 9/11 lies?

    2002 exec order let EPA bury info on air hazards

    July 28, 2006 -- With New Yorkers already fuming about reports that the feds downplayed the danger of Ground Zero dust, the White House gave EPA chief Christie Whitman the power to bury embarrassing documents by classifying them "secret." "I hereby designate the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency to classify information originally as 'Secret,'" states the executive order, which was signed by President Bush on May 6, 2002. Although the stated reason for Bush's directive is to keep "national security information" from falling into enemy hands, advocates for thousands of ailing Ground Zero heroes are convinced there's a more sinister motive. "I think the rationale behind this was to not let people know what they were potentially exposed to," said Joel Kupferman of the New York Environmental Law and Justice Project. "They're using the secrecy thing to cover up their malfeasance and past deceptions."

    In a series of damning editorials, the Daily News has taken the EPA and Whitman to task for downplaying the dangers posed by toxic air and accused Mayor Bloombag and city officials of stiffing 12,000 ailing Ground Zero workers.

    Bloombag has promised to look into the claims of the sick cops, firefighters and other Ground Zero heroes. But he has refused to acknowledge that the deaths of at least four first responders - and the illnesses of thousands more - were directly related to their toiling in The Pit. Whitman, who resigned as EPA chief in May 2003, could not be reached for comment yesterday. In a Newsweek interview that year, she said the White House never told her to lie about the air quality. However, Whitman conceded that she did not object when words of caution were edited out of her public statements. "We didn't want to scare people," she said. Asked last night about the executive order, a White House spokeswoman said she would have a response today. Two days after the Sept. 11 attacks, Whitman declared, "There appear to be no significant levels of asbestos dust in the air in New York City." Then on Sept. 21, Whitman reported that "a host of potential contaminants are either not detectable" or at a level the EPA considered safe. But on Oct. 26, 2001, the Daily News slapped "Toxic Zone" on the front page and warned that "toxic chemicals and metals" were poisoning lower Manhattan. Mike McCormick, the medic who found the now-famous tattered Ground Zero flag - and who suffers from a host of respiratory problems - said he never believed the EPA's claims.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
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    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
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    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

  3. #63
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    July 28, 2006 -- Toiling deep in the bowels of Ground Zero, Firefighter Kevin Delano suspected he was breathing in poison but continued hunting for bodies anyway. Now there's more proof the asthma that has made it impossible for the 52-year-old to cross his lawn without wheezing was caused by the deadly dust he inhaled. A soon-to-be-published study co-authored by David Prezant, the Fire Department's deputy chief medical officer, has found that FDNY rescuers lost the equivalent of 12 years of lung function because of exposure to toxic dust. "We knew it was bad, we knew it was bad from the first day," said Delano, who had to retire from the FDNY after 9/11 and also has been battling leukemia. "This just proves it." Prodded by a series of hard-hitting Daily News editorials that described the plight of 12,000 ailing Ground Zero workers, Mayor Bloomberg has promised to look into whether the city has stiffed its 9/11 heroes. But Bloomberg has refused, thus far, to acknowledge that the deaths of at least four first responders - and the illnesses of thousands more - were directly related to their toiling in The Pit. The analysis of fire and Emergency Medical Technician workers conducted by the FDNY and Montefiore Medical Center-Albert Einstein College of Medicine could make Bloomberg reconsider his position. It found that firefighters in The Pit suffered a loss of lung power "equal to that of 12 years of age-related decline." "Those who had more exposure, those who arrived earlier, had a more severe loss," said Montefiore's Dr. Gisela Banauch, also a co-author of the study, parts of which were released in May and all of which will be published next week in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. "We don't know if these rescue persons will recover and continue to lose their function at a normal pace or lose at a faster pace than a normal pace," Banauch added. Ironworker Joseph Libretti, 48, is one of the many rescuers with scarred lungs. He lost his brother, Firefighter Daniel Libretti, when the north tower collapsed. He then lost his health looking amid the rubble for the remains of his brother and countless others. "Until the Daily News came with a list of toxins, they went around and told us everything was fine," Libretti said, referring to post-9/11 columns by Juan Gonzalez, one of the first to sound the alarm about toxic air. "It wasn't just that they lied," Libretti added. "They allowed that lie to fester." Every breath is now an ordeal for Tarnisa Moore, a 54-year-old grandmother of four who was a supervisor at the Marriott Hotel at the World Trade Center. "We were dying and the government was talking about not scaring people," said Moore, who suffers from asthma, lung disease and other ailments. "It was a coverup."
    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. #64
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    July 30, 2006 -- The 9-11-01 terrorist attacks were so traumatic that it turned more of our dreams into nightmares, a new study shows. (no sh1t) The report analyzed the dreams of 44 people, all longtime dream chroniclers from across the U.S. The post-9/11 dreams "did contain more references to attacks, and they were scored as more nightmare-like," said researcher Ernest Hartmann, a professor of psychiatry at the Tufts University School of Medicine. "There was a little more fear and vulnerability than before." Hartmann said the dreams did not contain literal images of buildings falling or planes crashing. But "the dream imagery," he added, "is always stranger after the trauma."
    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*****************

  5. #65
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    Default I never complained, or sued, nor will I, but in case I die take care of my kid's...

    They were among the 40,000 who stepped forward for New York and America after 9-11-01, and they speak here of the price they paid for serving. Their stories are not unusual. No, they are typical among the more than 12,000 men and women who were sickened by breathing the toxic cloud that shrouded Ground Zero. They tell of damaged lungs and psyches, of fears of worse to come and of beliefs that the cloud has brought on cancers and may bring death. They feel betrayed by a government that said the air was safe and cast aside by officials who failed to address the sweeping nature of the resulting epidemic. Above all, these personal accounts stand as an indictment of a neglectful city and country, which must now right the terrible wrong of forgetting those who did the extraordinary at great personal cost.


    A smell you never forget
    For 20 years, I served as a detective with the New York Police Department, and I retire tomorrow at half pay without medical disability. I can still smell the debris of the Fresh Kills landfill. After you stepped off the bus for your 12-hour shift, the stench was just enormous, and as you walked around, you would see bubbling whirlpools. Fifteen minutes in, I would have splitting headaches. I'd go to the tents, where conveyer belts would bring debris to pick through for human remains. For years after, I had headaches, and I still have bloody noses and sinus problems. I never complained, or sued, nor will I, but in case I die, I've kept everything since that day, every news article, so maybe my two kids will get some compensation for my life.

    Steve Heberling, 44, Brewster, N.Y.

    'Coughing up blood'
    I was at the north tower as an Emergency Medical Services paramedic lieutenant when it collapsed. We ran up West St. We started setting up forward triage, and we treated people for the first three or four hours. When 7 World Trade Center came down, we started to treat sick responders. We were on site until 9 a.m. the next day. The air was indescribable. We worked there until Oct. 1. You couldn't eat anything that wasn't covered with dust. We had paper masks, but they were no good. Condensation from breathing turned the mask into mud. It was worse to breathe with it on. We got respirators about a week into it, but they were not fit-tested, they just came in boxes and we grabbed one that might fit. I worked more than 300 hours at Ground Zero. I considered it a thank you to America, a chance to do something for my country and for my fellow New Yorkers and for my co-workers who were buried in the rubble. We never expected anything to go wrong. Every day we were told the air was safe to breathe. Working down there as a team gave us healing. We could feel all the angels, all the people who had died there. I started coughing up black mucus, and there was black stuff coming out my ears and when I blew my nose. In October 2001, I started coughing up blood clots and went to the FDNY Bureau of Health Services. They gave me an inhaler and said they would monitor it. I was also seeing my own doctor, who diagnosed reactive airways distress syndrome. I would get a sinus infection every six to eight weeks. I also got urinary tract infections. I also had post-traumatic stress syndrome. In 2003, I was diagnosed with acid reflux. I had a lump in my throat and couldn't swallow. I used prednisone for my lungs. A few years before 9/11, I had contracted hepatitis C on the job. The FDNY did physicals in December 2001, and my liver values were normal. But they started increasing. In 2004, I had a liver biopsy, and the hepatitis was at stage 2. I was taking interferon and ribovirin, but the interferon seemed to make my lung condition worse. Every time I went to the pulmonologist, my vital function was decreasing. Now I'm down to 58% lung capacity. Because of the hepatitis C, nothing was working for me. The prednisone was increasing my hepatitis C viral load so I can't treat my lungs, which have scarring. I had to choose which to aggressively treat. I decided to treat the hepatitis C because that can affect other organs. I'm looking at 72 weeks of treatment. There's a 50% chance of eliminating the virus, then the options are interferon to keep liver damage from progressing, probably for the rest of my life. Last week, I was granted a three-quarters disability pension based on the hepatitis C.

    Denise Bellingham, 57, Medford, L.I.

    Leaving my kids
    I was at the site as a volunteer EMT for three days - on 9/11, and then on the 13th and 14th. I was working triage from a deli as WTC 7 burned and fell. Going down there that morning, I left my two children at home. At the time, they thought I was dead, but when you have a job you are trained to do, and you do it well, then you just go do it. And now, I've been officially disabled since 2003. I have acid reflux, migraine and sinus headaches, asthma, depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, shingles and flashbacks, but no health coverage because I was a volunteer. I don't have lung disease from smoking. I don't have lung disease from a meth lab. I don't have it from doing something I shouldn't have been doing. I have it from the World Trade Center. What nobody's talking about is the next time something happens. You can't just run into buildings anymore. Those who did are on Death Row and being punished for what we did.


    Reggie Cervantes, 45, Kansas City, Kan.

    Running out of time
    As an American, as a New Yorker, I thought I had an obligation to help. Somebody demolishes a building in my city, it's my duty to clean it up. I'm a union worker. But now, I'm living through a nightmare. The city employees got taken care of, but we didn't get anything. Each time I go to Mount Sinai Medical Center, I lose more of my lung. The first time, it was 21% gone. The next, 33%. Now they say I've lost 44%. I can't even walk up a flight of stairs. I've got three kids and can't afford to take time off work, but I'm worried about the future, about my wife and my children. The lung specialist I went to couldn't diagnose my problem. He didn't know what to say to me, except to guarantee that in 10 years I wouldn't be walking around.


    Daniel Arrigo, 51, Staten Island

    Denied
    I worked more than 100 hours doing search and recovery as a police officer. I was in the lobby when the building started collapsing, and I was there through the end of the cleanup. Now I have post-traumatic stress disorder. I've got acid reflux. I've got asthma and upper-respiratory infections. I can't go near large buildings anymore. The Police Medical Board, four times now, denies medical liability. They say my diseases are not related to the World Trade Center, or that my paperwork isn't good enough, or that I need to go to their doctors instead of mine. I just want to be home with my kids. The money doesn't matter now. I'm never responding to a terrorist attack again: I'm just going to go right home with my wife and kids.

    Robert Curcio, 34, Staten Island

    Whitman's people lied
    When we went out to The Pile, initially all we got was a Home Depot-type dust mask. Eventually, they gave us sturdier ones. I worked there from 9/11 until May as an EMS lieutenant and put in well over 100 hours. Two years later, in March 2004, I had my first real asthma attack. That same month, I was forced into the process of retirement. Christie Whitman's EPA people lied: They said the air was safe. Eventually, I got three-quarters disability, but the city had played these little technicalities. The lawyer for the city said that because the department hadn't filed a form, there was no proof that the accident I was claiming for had actually occurred. The judge had to instruct the lawyer for the city that it can be taken for a given that 9/11 had happened. Because I did my duty on 9/11 and in the recovery operations, I'm now totally and permanently disabled.

    William Gleeson, 45, Hicksville, L.I.

    An incurable disease
    On 9/11, I was a captain in the NYPD. I was home with my family when the attack came, and as the first tower fell, I left my pregnant wife and 3-year-old daughter. Both cried, pleading for me not to leave. I went with only one request to the city: Take care of my family. I retired in 2004 at the age of 42, believing myself healthy. Within nine months, I was diagnosed with multiple myeloma, which is caused by asbestos, smoldering steel and benzene, all present at Ground Zero. Since then, most of my time has been spent at Sloan-Kettering, getting stem-cell transplants and chemotherapy. And now, after 20 years of service, I'm left with a half-pay pension and little more than an incurable, life-threatening disease and partial paralysis in both hands. Yet not a single city, state or federal agency will acknowledge the air at Ground Zero might be a problem.


    Patrick DeSarlo, 44, New City, N.Y.

    Forgotten
    I volunteered first from the Red Cross then later on with the Salvation Army, working 12-hour shifts with no protection. While most of my duties left me inside, I was exposed to the air going between buildings and as I brought coffee and warm clothes to the men on The Pile. Ever since, I've had chronic sinus infections, and many other volunteers have worse. We weren't paid workers, so we can't retire or go on disability, and there's no way to pay our medical bills. We gladly did what we did - but we are now forgotten.


    Kathy Davy, 45, Manhattan
    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*****************

  6. #66
    This space for rent NYSmokey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by NYSmokey
    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."
    This is one time I wish I had been WRONG
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member

  7. #67
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    Default Study: Early 9-11-01 responders suffered major lung damage

    August 2, 2006 -- Respiratory function has been so severely compromised in some World Trade Center rescuers that even as the fifth anniversary of the attack approaches, experts are reporting a dramatic aging effect in the lungs of firefighters and others. While some first responders have regained near-normal lung capacity, others have been forced into retirement because of persistent pulmonary disorders typified by asthma-like symptoms and a characteristic World Trade Center cough. An analysis of New York City firefighters and other responders exposed to World Trade Center dust found that rescuers experienced a decrease in lung function equivalent to more than a decade of age-related decline in the first year following the 9-11-01 attacks. Conducted by lung specialists at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx, the research indicates that for those hardest hit, breathing disorders remain chronic and may progress to the type of damage seen in people sickened by decades of smoking. "The aging portion of the study was used as a convenient yardstick to make understandable the drop in lung function that we found," said Dr. Gisela Banauch, a Montefiore pulmonologist. She and colleagues report their study today in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine. They analyzed lung function tests of 12,079 New York Fire Department members and other rescue workers, most of whom were at Ground Zero during or immediately after the World Trade Center collapse. For those first to arrive, .exposure was worst. Still, a dramatic aging of the lungs -- equivalent to a 12-year loss of lung function -- is an unusual finding, said Dr. Ashok Karnik, chief of pulmonary and critical care medicine at Nassau University Medical Center in East Meadow. Karnik works in collaboration with researchers at Stony Brook University Hospital and The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan, monitoring patients exposed to Ground Zero debris. "I can't say we have found anything equivalent to 12 years of age-related decline," Karnik said. "Some patients do suffer from upper respiratory problems and asthma-like symptoms. For some patients' symptoms are persistent, but for many others, symptoms have decreased over time." Karnik suggested Banauch may have treated patients who had longer exposures to the dust than those in his program. Banauch used a measure called FEV-1, which stands for forced expiratory volume and is a standard test administered by pulmonologists. "This is a basic measure of lung function. When we want to determine if a patient has moderate or severe lung disease we talk in terms of FEV-1," said Dr. Stuart Garay, a clinical professor of pulmonology at NYU Medical Center in Manhattan who also treats patients for respiratory problems caused by World Trade Center dust. "For every year we live, the normal individual loses 30 milliliters" in lung function, Garay said. "That's really a small amount. So you can live into your 80s and 90s without losing much lung function. A smoker by comparison will lose 60 or 70 milliliters a year. So by the time these individuals are 50 years old they're short of breath." Banauch found responders with the worst exposures lost a staggering 372 milliliters within the first year after the attack. She theorizes that for the most disabled, the loss of function ultimately could lead to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, often diagnosed in smokers. She cites pulverized concrete, which becomes alkaline when inhaled as a powder, as the culprit that seared lungs. Richard Picciotto, 55, a former FDNY chief who participated in Banauch's research, said his exposure to World Trade Center debris has had an adverse effect on his pulmonary function. He has World Trade Center cough. "I was taking medication for the first year and half to two years -- inhalers and stuff like that -- but I've kind of weaned myself off of them," said Picciotto, who retired from FDNY in 2003 because of other .injuries sustained on 9-11-01.
    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*****************

  8. #68
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    Default Keeping it up top

    Study Finds 9/11 Responders Suffer From Rapid Lung Aging

    August 3, 2006 – Members of the Uniformed Fire Officers Association (UFOA) Local 854 and the Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) Local 94 who worked at Ground Zero during and in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, have lost the equivalent of 12 years of lung capacity, according to study published in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

    Lung specialists at Montefiore Medical Center in the Bronx analyzed lung function tests of 12,079 New York City fire fighters and other rescue workers. Using an FEV-1 (Forced Expiratory Volume) to measure lung function, doctors found that in the worst exposures, first responders lost 372 milliliters of lung function.

    The average individual loses 30 milliliters annually and smokers lose 70 milliliters. Specialists indicate that many fire fighters could suffer from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease caused by a narrowing of the lung’s airways that makes breathing more difficult.

    “As frontline defenders, our members in New York City, as well as those who responded, suffered dangerous exposures with significant health consequences of epic proportions,” says IAFF General President Harold Schaitberger. “Immediate action must be taken to ensure that our first responders continue with medical attention, as well as the job benefit protections they need and deserve.”

    “With so many of our members exposed to hundreds of chemicals and toxins, this study confirms what we have said all along -- the danger for contracting debilitating lung ailments is extremely high,” says Pete Gorman, president of Local 854. “This study illustrates the importance of long-term medical monitoring and health care. Our members need lung protections.”

    More than 500 Local 854 and 94 members have been issued mandatory retirements because of 9/11 lung ailments. In addition, at least 200 others have been deemed by FDNY doctors to be too permanently disabled to continue working as fire fighters. Yet the city will not let them retire but have relegated them to light duty.

    As for the future health of New York fire fighters, the Montefiore Medical Center doctors don’t know. In their research, they were unable to determine whether lung function would continue to deteriorate or whether some fire fighter lung damage might heal.

    “Most 9/11 veteran fire fighters wonder if their health will hold up and the harm it may cause their family,” says Steve Cassidy, president of Local 94. “This concern is only further complicated by a lack of clarity about the city’s position relating to the protection of fire fighters who put their lives and their health on the line during and in the wake of the 9/11 attacks.

    “We need to support the World Trade Center Presumptive Death Benefit bill, which provides accidental death benefits to 9/11 rescuers should they succumb to disease resulting from their work at the World Trade Center site,” says Cassidy.

    “The unsure future of our fire fighters is why long-term medical monitoring and health care is so important for our members,” says Gorman. “There is federal legislation that calls for it, but every year, our New York congressional delegation must fight to get money appropriated.”

    “If we won’t take care of these first responders, what message does that send to future fire fighters in the next major catastrophe?” asks Cassidy. “Fire fighters and first responders need to know that they and their families will be protected should they become injured or killed while saving and protecting New Yorkers.”
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

  9. #69
    This space for rent NYSmokey's Avatar
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    Angry More EPA incompetence

    From the NY Daily News www.nydailynews.com

    Toxins on roof halt razing of bank

    BY GREG B. SMITH
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER


    State officials temporarily halted demolition of the former Deutsche Bank tower at Ground Zero this week after high levels of toxic dust were detected on the roof, they revealed yesterday.
    The suspension of work was the second time the demolition had been stopped at the 130 Liberty St. tower, which was ripped open and clogged with toxins when the twin towers collapsed on 9/11.

    Lower Manhattan Development Corp. officials said they had suspended work Thursday after lab results from an air monitoring station on the tower's roof revealed the release of unacceptable levels of silica July 28.

    The Environmental Protection Agency said the high levels of silica showed up in a test on the northeastern corner of the roof while workers were removing roofing material.

    The state restarted the work yesterday when officials decided that wetting the roof could contain the dust.

    Nearby tenants and homeowners have been concerned for years about the potential release of toxic dust during the tower's demolition.

    Several residents were furious yesterday that the work shutdown came a week after the silica was discovered.

    "That's not very protective," said Kim Flynn, community advocate with 9/11 Environmental Action.

    EPA spokeswoman Mary Mears said the delay was caused by the time that is required for the lab to obtain and confirm the test results.
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member

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    Default Bloomturd strikes again..How does he sleep at night?

    Mike wants proof 9/11 made 'em ill
    Doesn't support benefits bill

    BY JOE MAHONEY, ERNIE NASPRETTO and FRANK LOMBARDI
    DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITERS

    Mayor Bloomberg took a hard line yesterday on paying line-of-duty death benefits for 9/11 responders who die years after their work at Ground Zero - insisting that a "connection" be established between their rescue work and their eventual deaths.
    "People, I think, all agree we should help those who stood up there and helped, but you have to make sure there is a connection between what they did and what happened," he said on his WABC-AM radio show.

    It was his first public comment opposing a controversial 9/11 death-benefits bill now awaiting Gov. Pataki's signature. Aides to the mayor previously urged Pataki to veto the bill, contending it would cost the city between $5 million and $10 million a year.

    The measure calls for paying pension benefits worth three-quarters of a regular salary to the families of certain 9/11 responders after their deaths.

    Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) scolded the mayor for opposing the death-benefits bill.

    Silver sent a letter to Pataki stating that he was "extremely distressed" the mayor was leaning on the governor to veto the legislation.

    "His call for you to veto the legislation is deeply troubling, and I urge you to consider those heroes and their families who would be devastated if you chose to deny them those rightful benefits," Silver wrote in the letter, a copy of which was obtained by the Daily News.

    Pataki has said he is "inclined" to sign the bill. He has until Wednesday to act.

    Many of the cops, firefighters and city workers who spent weeks and months at Ground Zero during the rescue and recovery stages have complained of health ailments they attribute to their 9/11 work.

    The contested death-benefits bill was prompted by the death in January of James Zadroga, a retired city detective who had spent more than 450 hours at Ground Zero while with the NYPD. He later developed respiratory ailments and died at the age of 34, just 14 months after retiring on a special 9/11 disability pension.

    The autopsy report on Zadroga's death found "with a reasonable degree of medical certainty that the cause of death in this case was directly related to the 9/11 incident."

    "Everyone wants to take a bow, but nobody wants to do anything," said Michael Palladino, president of the Detectives' Endowment Association.

    Originally published on August 12, 2006

    Mayor Bloomturd it's called a physical exam prior to 9/11. I'm sure that all of the emergency services personnel had them and the firefighters most likely had pulmonary function tests as part of their physical. So you take those baseline results and look at how much damage was done in a very short period. Where were those personnel detailed???? Duh. $5-10 million a year. How can you put a price on what was done in the rescue and recovery effort? Why don't you save some money by ceasing the installation of GPS units that don't interface with dispatch, stop remodeling bathrooms to accomodate female firefighters that MIGHT be detailed there, and pull the advertising money for a minority recruitment effort that does not do anything to look at the root causes of why African Americans don't sign up in droves to take the test. RANT OFF
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

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    NYC Ground Zero Workers to Get More Benefits
    Updated: 08-14-2006
    By KAREN MATTHEWS
    Associated Press Writer


    Gov. George Pataki signed legislation Monday to greatly expand benefits for workers who have died or become sick from toiling in the smoke and dust that hung over the ruins of the World Trade Center.

    Among other things, the families of rescue workers who die of their illnesses years after Sept. 11 would receive the full benefits available to those killed in the line of duty.

    Rescue workers claim they are suffering from a variety of respiratory ailments and fear they could develop cancer down the line from asbestos and other toxic substances.

    "As it is clear that many champions of 9/11 have developed debilitating illnesses over time resulting from their selfless acts, these New Yorkers need to know that New York state will not abandon them," Pataki said in a statement.

    The governor's office had no immediate estimates for how many people the three new laws would cover or how much money the benefits would involve, but Mayor Michael Bloomberg complained that the legislation would cost the city $500 million over 10 years.

    "It's just another example of the state of New York doing something that they want to do, but making the city pay," Bloomberg said. "There's no free lunch, and Albany doesn't seem to understand that."

    The mayor said he did not object to the bill's purpose, "but I want them to fund it if that's what they want to do."

    Health officials have warned that it may take 20 years before doctors know the full health effects of Sept. 11 on emergency personnel and civilians who were either engulfed in the airborne remains of the two 110-story buildings in the days immediately after the attack, or spent months afterward removing bodies and debris from the site.

    A class-action lawsuit representing 8,000 workers and civilians blames Sept. 11 for sinusitis, cancer and other ailments developed after the attacks.

    One of the laws signed Monday allows recovery workers who became ill after a two-year deadline to reapply for workers' compensation benefits.

    "The brave men and women suffering from hidden health issues stemming from Sept. 11 should not be denied benefits because of a statutory time limit they had no hope of meeting," Pataki said.

    The second law allows relatives of police officers and firefighters to receive the same benefits offered to families of those killed in the line of duty.

    The improved benefits would probably apply to the family of 34-year-old retired police Detective James Zadroga. Zadroga died in January from respiratory disease. A New Jersey medical examiner ruled that his illness was "directly related" to Sept. 11. Union officials said that was the first rescue-worker death attributed to toiling at ground zero.

    The third law would allow ground zero workers who became ill after they retire to have their retirement status reclassified as accidental disability, providing more generous benefits.

    ___

    Associated Press Writer Sara Kugler contributed to this report.

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    FTM-PTB
    Last edited by FFFRED; 08-22-2006 at 07:41 PM.

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    Default Where's George ?

    The UFA Local 94 endorsed George W. Bush for president. I have not heard one peep out of him regarding this subject. How about it Mr. President?
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    Quote Originally Posted by FFFRED

    FTM-PTB

    FTM is right!!
    I.A.C.O.J. "The Cork"

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    Quote Originally Posted by pvfire424
    FTM is right!!
    And he don't mean For The Men! Why is it so often that Mayor and MUTT are interchangeable words?
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

    IACOJ Member

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    This is definatly an issue that has to be taken care of. I could only imagine the health issues with people who were there in the long term. Hell I was only there for just under a week and I lost my voice and had a sore throat for 2 weeks from all the crap in the air. I remember first walking up off the boats and had on one of those white paper masks on and I guess it was a DR. who walked up to us and took them and made us put on the asbestos orange color ones. So you know there was some crap in the air !
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    Here is another excellent article Blunt Trauma
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Quote Originally Posted by MIKEYLIKESIT
    Here is another excellent article Blunt Trauma
    The thick packet of white paper snapped into a clipboard is labeled "FDNY intake." It's a list: pelvis, skull, hair (brownish, 1/2 inch), spine, upper torso, tissue, mandible, and clavicle. Upper extremity, right hand, and teeth. Joe McMahon points to that entry and says, "This is a person ripped apart."
    On this particular Friday in June, the 44-year-old McMahon says he is doing all right. He looks a little tired because he spent a restless night sweating and chasing sleep, but he took an extra anti-anxiety pill this morning, in addition to the three he takes each night. He's a little tense because he's waiting for a phone call to learn whether or not he can retire from the New York City Fire Department on a disability pension. But then he is used to waiting. For years, he waited in dread for his shift as an engine company lieutenant to start and then for it to end with him still alive. On hundreds of nights, he waited until the booze put him to sleep. And over nine months, from 9-11 until the recovery effort ended the following spring, McMahon waited in a morgue to examine human remains.
    As a fire marshal, his job was to identify which remains belonged to the 343 firefighters who were killed. Working with a medical examiner and sometimes an anthropologist, he would look for the telltale signs of FDNY equipment in debris found with the body parts: the particular type of ring located on the underside of a helmet rim or the kind of clasp seen only on turnout coats. McMahon saw bones poking out of skin, bones crushed, and bones burned. There was skin the texture of leather, torn skin. Once he saw an entire corpse folded to the size of a large handbag. Sometimes he would clean feces and urine off body parts.
    Often he'd try to answer the unanswerable questions that families posed. And always there'd be the notation to make on the list of human remains that had been found. Most weren't found intact. On the clipboard in his home office, his finger traces the record of those days: 0M0111681 bone, 0M0111682 soft tissue, elbow, foot, ilium, shoulder, knee, muscle, bone. Upper trunk with right arm. "Look at this, 'Trunk and lower leg,' " he says. "Do you have any idea what that looks like?"
    There are questions at the heart of all that has haunted Joe McMahon for nearly five years, which he asked in a desperate letter last year to a fire department doctor: "What kind of person endures such normalcy of death? What has he to say for himself?"

    At the new and popular FDNY memorial on the side of a firehouse at Liberty and Greenwich streets, the bronze firefighters are frozen foreverin the moments New Yorkers remember them living—hosing down the debris, weeping over caskets, and gently bearing flag-draped remains over the Pile. A few blocks north, the New York City Fire Museum has adhered the faces of the dead to a cenotaph in one room, and in another, a screen silently plays images of the grim work at ground zero. Displayed are photos of the makeshift shrines overflowing with candles and flowers, notes and photographs, set up at firehouses in those first days when everybody wanted to hug firefighters, buy them drinks, bake them cookies—when a story of pure, uncomplicated heroism was exactly what many Americans wanted to hear.
    Now the Pile has been sanitized to a work site, and debate rages over how to properly memorialize the people who died. Meanwhile, thousands of firefighters who responded to the towers or worked in their rubble remain among the living. Many have been forced from their jobs because of what happened that day. They are no longer striking heroic poses, or at least no one is taking pictures when they do.
    Each took something different away from ground zero. Joe McMahon, who was based at a fire marshal's office in Queens at the time, holds on to his list and a bottle of anti-anxiety pills. Frank Bazzicalupo, a firefighter at Ladder 37 in the Bronx on 9-11, keeps an American flag that he wore around his neck as he searched the Pile for survivors. It's in a display case near the couch where he coughed up blood after he fell ill. Mike Telesca, then a chief in the safety battalion, keeps his souvenir in the basement: the beat-up helmet he wore on the day he thought he was going to die.
    Telesca's helmet is not just a token surviving one violent moment. It is also a reminder of everything that has happened since. Because he retired on a disability pension primarily for post-traumatic stress, Telesca, who is now 49, was ineligible for the federal victim compensation fund that awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars each to other injured firefighters. He cooperated with the 9-11 Commission's investigators but thinks the final report was a whitewash of mistakes made on the scene. He is not happy. And he isn't alone.
    In the FDNY family, the perfect unity of grieving has cracked with time and the stresses of altered lives. There is resentment over money, over who was compensated for comp time and who wasn't, who got promotions and who missed out, who took free trips and received media attention and who didn't. When Battalion Chief Richard Picciotto wrote a book a couple years ago about his experiences on 9-11, his FDNY brothers beat him up in the papers for hogging the spotlight.
    Some of those hit by 9-11 blame then mayor Rudy Giuliani's management or Motorola's radios, or even the decisions by fire officers who commanded the response, for some of the deaths. At one post–9-11 FDNY function, one chief said another had been a "coward" on that fateful day—the ultimate insult, which is why one of the participants in that exchange refuses to name names.
    Some firefighters feel they were forced to retire, like Captain Al Fuentes. Severely injured on 9-11, he still feels he was pushed out of his job. "I didn't retire. They retired me," he insists. "My intention was to stay there forever." Meanwhile, some of the bereaved feel frustrated that the fire depart- ment and its unions have moved on without them. At a February meeting of firefighter families who sued over radio failures that day, Jimmy Boyle, who lost his son Michael, told other grieving kin that the reason their case isn't getting a lot of sympathy in the department is that "there is the impression that the families are after two bites of the apple," meaning they want the federal money and a legal settlement—"and that's in the firehouses too."
    The cloak of heroism that has been thrown over all the action on 9-11 irks many as well, especially the assumption by public officials that firefighters knowingly continued up the stairs in a building they'd been told to evacuate. "They just kept climbing," scoffs Rose Aileen Tallon, who lost her brother, "like a bunch of idiots." Suspicions abound—within the ranks—that some guys inhaled aerosol propellant to get out on a lung disability, although no one disputes that many firefighters have legitimately suffered lung damage. Resentment persists over the city's order late in 2001 that firefighters abandon the Pile. "The bastards arrested a dozen brothers," reads a recent comment on the FDNY Rant website. "We had to fight to carry home our dead."
    Since 1981 the FDNY has had an office dedicated to preventing and investigating accidents during fire operations. The Safety Battalion sends one of its chiefs to every fire that registers a second alarm or greater—as well as to tricky emergencies like hazardous- material incidents or building collapses. When an FDNY member is killed on the job, the Safety Battalion investigates to see if faulty equipment, bad decisions, or flawed policies were to blame.
    That's what put Mike Telesca in Staten Island the last day he was on duty before 9-11. In late August, a 27-year-old rookie firefighter died of a heart attack at a fire scene, and Telesca was looking into it. On the way to the wake, Telesca and aide Bobby Crawford stopped by Rescue 5 to interview men who'd worked at the fire where the rookie died. Crawford had been an aide at the battalion since its inception. For Chief Telesca, Safety—where he'd been for about 30 months—was the latest stop in a career that had begun on a lark. He left Morris Park in the Bronx to study arboriculture, and he later joined a tree company out on Long Island. But in 1977 a co-worker named Mike Warchola became a firefighter and egged on others to take the entrance exam. Eighteen months later Telesca was in a firehouse in Washington Heights. From there to later postings in the Bronx, Telesca developed a reputation for being a little prickly and a stickler for detail. He was a "controversial guy," as others put it. But he loved the job, and at his Safety post, he missed the fraternity of the firehouse. That night in Staten Island, he was back in it, smoking a stogie, shooting the **** with the boys. By the end of Telesca's next day on duty, just about everyone else in the room would be dead.
    Telesca had Tuesday the 11th off but decided to go in anyway so he could wrap up the report on the dead rookie and get a blood test. It was one year to the day since Telesca had reached into the glove compartment of an FDNY sedan and got stuck with a needle. Some firefighter evidently had diabetes but was keeping it quiet, and when Telesca figured out who it was, he kept mum too. But for a year Telesca had been taking precautions, and while nothing had shown up in his blood, he wanted to keep up the monitoring. So he left early from his family's house in Eastchester for Safety's headquarters at the Brooklyn Navy Yard. It wasn't quite the old firehouse, but the Safety office offered its own camaraderie. That morning, the chiefs and aides who were going off or coming on duty had coffee together. Crawford brought in some corn muffins and gave Telesca a shoulder massage amid the chatter. Then Telesca went into his office. It was just before 9 a.m.
    A few moments later, looking at the flames across the water from his office in Brooklyn, Telesca knew the fire department was going to lose people. The blaze was simply too big and too high. He and other Safety Battalion officers and aides raced over the Manhattan Bridge. As they pulled up near the WTC and began getting into their gear, an FBI agent told them that a third plane was in the area. Dozens of fire companies were pulling up to the site, some loaded with extra firefighters who were not on duty but wanted to help. The on-duty citywide safety chief and the overall commander of the safety battalion were already there. Telesca wondered what his job was. He asked Larry Stack, a more senior chief who rode in with him, what they were supposed to do. "The only thing we're concerned about," Stack answered, "is the structural stability of the buildings."
    Telesca says Stack didn't like what he saw when they entered the lobby of the north tower. There were cracks in the marble, a sign that the building was under tremen- dous stress. So they headed for the fire department command post on West Street, walking back through the concourse and entering the Marriott hotel lobby. They had just walked in when another chief, Brian O'Flaherty, heard a boom. "That doesn't sound good," he said.
    Telesca agreed. There was a split second of silence, then a different noise. "It's pancaking!" O'Flaherty yelled, and ran. Telesca hesitated, then realized O'Flaherty was right. He scanned the room and found a column to use for cover. As he reached it, debris whacked the helmet off his head. The sound grew louder and louder, and debris shot down into his scalp. Telesca passed out. When he came to, he was vomiting corn muffin and dust. He felt heat and began looking for the glow of a fire. Then he heard screams. "That's when I knew," he recalls, "I wasn't the only one still alive."
    As the south tower crumbled, its debris ripped the Marriott in two. Over the next few minutes, survivors emerged from the lobby's rubble. One civilian had torn his Achilles tendon and wanted help getting out. "You're going to have to walk on it," Telesca told him. "It's gonna hurt like ****ing hell, but you're going to have to walk on it." One firefighter was sending Maydays over his radio, but Telesca knew that was worthless. Whatever had just happened, no one was coming for them.
    Telesca mistakenly believed that he was in the south tower and that a complete collapse was imminent. He and a security guard began searching for a way out, but their first attempts only found doors jammed with debris or leading into utility rooms that offered no sure escape. Finally, across the lobby, they located a way to a parking garage, through which daylight was visible. Telesca called for everyone to follow him and walked through the garage to an entry ramp, where the group of 15 or so people waited with him for debris to stop falling so they could leave. The lingering was too much for Telesca; he had to get out of there. So he started off alone across the field of debris, slowly picking his way over the larger pieces. Behind him he heard the calls of "Fireman! Fireman!" from the people behind. At first he ignored them. Then he looked back and gestured for them to follow, shouting, "Let's go!"

    As he made it to West Street, Telesca ran into Chief of Department Peter Ganci (the overall commander of the FDNY) and Bill Feehan, the elderly first deputy commissioner. Telesca says the two men were caked with dust, walking arm in arm, mouths agape. Telesca grabbed Ganci's arm, shouting, "Pete, we've got to cut our losses and give up the north tower!" Ganci snapped back, "I know, Mike!" Then special operations chief Ray Downey, a legendary rescue expert, came on the scene. Former fire commissioner Thomas Von Essen told the 9-11 Commission that earlier on 9-11 Downey had said, "These buildings can collapse." According to Telesca, Downey told the other chiefs on West Street that the north tower was "not coming down," because it had been struck at a less vulnerable spot than the tower that had already fallen.
    Telesca had no radio and no idea what had transpired during the time he'd been trapped in the Marriott. Eventually he staggered up West Street, still vomiting, with dust impacted in his ears. A firefighter, Louis Cacchioli, and a cop helped him along. Then the second collapse happened. Telesca remembers little of it—just that same, successive thumping sound and the feeling of being dropped on the ground as everyone took cover. (Cacchioli was captured by a Daily News photographer assisting Telesca, whom he didn't know at the time. After some searching by Cacchioli, the men were reunited more than two years later.)
    When the dust settled, Telesca was twice strapped into ambulance stretchers and twice extricated himself. He wanted out. He refused to go to St. Vincent's, terrified that emergency rooms would be hit next, so he walked to the last ambulance in the row and asked to be taken to Columbia-Presbyterian. But first he wanted to call his wife. A guy claiming to be an FDNY chaplain jumped on the ambulance and said his cell phone was working, but would not let Telesca talk. When the guy dialed Telesca's wife and said, "This is an FDNY chaplain," she dropped the phone. Eventually, someone told her that her husband wasn't dead.
    Later in the day, when Telesca was released from the hospital, he called a local firehouse for a ride. The company— Telesca's first post as a rookie fireman—came by in its engine. "I took my first run on this rig," he told the young firefighter who sat next to him. "And this is my last run." Over his career, Telesca had been badly burned in a fire, had fallen through a roof, and was decorated for gallantry. But 9-11 was the first time he remembered being scared. He knew he was done.
    Crawford was dead. Stack, Feehan, and Ganci were also gone. Downey was last seen reaching into the rubble to save someone when the second tower came down on him. The men Telesca had chatted with at Rescue 5 were dead. His tree-fixing buddy, Mike Warchola, lost his life on his last day on the job. The guy whose needle had apparently stuck Telesca was dead too.
    Frankie Bazz, as Bazzicalupo is often called, has a house in White Plains that's as clean as a laboratory. About the only clutter is in the basement, where a stack of plaques and other framed mementos of his 24 years in the FDNY has been accumulating for a while.
    The thing is, there are already so many keepsakes hanging on the walls and propped on the tables, like his original leather helmet, pictures of the Ladder 37 truck that he drove, a memorial poster to the 343 lost, and his badge (No. 9703), which the department retired when Bazzi-calupo did. There's also a picture of Bazzicalupo dashing across the ice with the FDNY hockey team, for which he played center on the first and second lines. At one time, he played on two hockey squads simultaneously. It kept him trim. At 52, he can still fit into the uniform he wore as a rookie firefighter. His hockey days are done, however. Bazzicalupo gets a little winded as he heads back up the single flight of stairs to his living room.
    "It's something with the air exchange," he explains. His lungs don't exhale properly, so sometimes he wheezes and sometimes the air comes out suddenly in a burp. "Eventually it could lead to emphysema," he adds. That worries his two college-age daughters. "So what are you doing with it?" he says. "You're masking it. You're not telling them about it. Lying to them about it. Saying you're going to visit an old work buddy when you go to the doctors. I've been hiding it." He takes three medications through the day, including one that he inhales for 15 minutes at a time. It makes his heart race.
    Back in the living room, Bazzicalupo points out the flag he wore draped around his neck at ground zero, displayed in a five-foot-tall glass case with other reminders. He notes the four wristbands dedicated to dead firefighters he had broken into the job, one of whom had switched to a special rescue company—thanks to Bazzicalupo's recommendation—two days before his death. There are prayer cards and pins, wings from an American Airlines flight attendant, video documentaries like Why the Towers Fell, and a scattering of books. There's a check for $50 that someone gave him for dinner. "You look at it, you say, 'You know, I've got to get some closure to this,' " he says. But that's difficult. Nearby, the couch also reminds him of his time at the Pile and what he breathed there. When the illness hit, Bazzicalupo spent days lying there. "The imprint of my body is in that couch," he says.
    A lot of ground zero rescuers are getting sick only now, but for Bazzicalupo it came fast. He was in the middle of a 24-hour shift at his Bronx firehouse when the planes hit, and his company was on the Pile by noon looking for survivors. Catching an hour of sleep here and there, he stayed at the site for about 60 hours straight and came back for 10 more the following day. "I said, 'I'm staying. I know too many guys down there,' " he says. "The first week you had hope. The first day you said, 'We're gonna dig. We're gonna listen for somebody.' " The people he found, however, weren't making sounds. "There were people on the catwalk. There were firemen below rigs. There were firemen below the catwalk," he recalls. The bodies of firefighters were easier to recover because their thick protective clothing encapsulated the remains.
    As he talks, Bazzicalupo puts his fist to his sternum. It's another chest pain. Beyond the first week after 9-11, he and other firefighters returned to the Pile occasionally on a rotation, riding in silently on buses from Shea Stadium. Bazzicalupo knew all along that ground zero was not a healthy place to be. Firefighters' air tanks were just too heavy to use. When he first arrived, a cop gave him a paper mask, and then EMTs handed out surgical masks, but these got clogged fast. The rescuers received more sophisticated respirators later, but Bazzicalupo wasn't convinced at the time that the types of filters that were distributed protected him.
    Risk, he knew, came with the territory. "This is not a healthy job," Bazzicalupo notes. Even before 9-11, he had heard of few firefighters who enjoyed long retirements. After all, he adds, heading into a basement with an oil fire burning and taking even a few breaths without your air tank is like smoking a couple packs of cigarettes. That's a bitter metaphor. Bazzicalupo has heard that, because he never smoked, his lungs were more vulnerable to the Trade Center dust than others'. In any case, a few weeks after 9-11, Bazzica-lupo noticed he was coming back from fires much more winded than he used to be. He had a lung test, and FDNY medical staff told him he'd fought his last fire.
    Now life is a series of precautions. Bazzicalupo exercises for up to 45 minutes daily on an elliptical trainer to try to strengthen his lungs, but he drives home as soon as he's done to take a shower andprevent any germs from settling in—a simple head cold is a real problem. He feels good immediately after the workout, but only for a little while. He has to take a nap most days once he gets home; sometimes he's zapped the rest of the day. When he had shoulder surgery in 2004, his lungs collapsed, and he once was given nitroglycerin in an emergency room because the doctors thought he was having a heart attack. He has special filter canisters in his air-conditioning and is going to have to have his rugs removed to eliminate dust. He clips health tips out of magazines. He cannot go to ball fields or golf courses because of the grass and can't help his daughter move into a new apartment or paint his own ceiling. "You always think you're invincible. There was nothing I couldn't do," he says. "I'm, like, not the go-to player anymore." He's done his share of volunteer work since retirement—Meals on Wheels and the like. But people don't come by to ask for help with a home project, like putting on a roof, because they know he can't.
    Bazzicalupo was studying to be an accountant in 1977, when, at age 23, he took a neighbor's advice and sat for a battery of civil service tests: cop, sanitation worker, firefighter. He picked the last, and it stuck, for the same reason that he now misses the job: the specialized knowledge he acquired as part of the choreographed expertise of a fire company. In his last years on the job, Bazzicalupo was a chauffeur, certified to drive the three types of ladder trucks the department uses: tillers, where a second guy sits on the back; tower ladders, which have the bucket on the end; and the aerials, or rear mounts, known as "the stick."
    Driving was an important job, but everyone else on the truck had one too. "As a trucker, you're getting there before the hose line," Bazzicalupo notes, his speech quickening as he describes the men he used to work with, identified not by name but by job. "Nothing can derail the roof guy. He can't jump up—he has to find an adjoining roof that is higher and jump down. He has to open the bulkhead door on the roof so guys can breathe in the stairwell. He carries the rope, looks over the side to see if anyone is hanging. The outside-vent man has to take the fire escape, get to the fire apartment, get people out." He will break the window the moment the hose team starts spraying water, in order to release the heat and smoke away from where the engine company is. The "can" man (who carries a fire extinguisher) and the "irons" guy form the inside team. "To knock down a door, the can man swings the ax. The irons guy drops his other tools and uses the Halligan device. Once they get the door open they chock it open with an ax to get the hose team in." When it all worked, it was beautiful—a dangerous dance of well-learned tasks, the rapid application of knowledge earned through experience, like knowing by the way your ears feel that a room is getting so hot the flames might flash over.
    When FDNY officials told Bazzicalupo he wasn't going to fight fires anymore, they suggested a light-duty assignment: the mail room. The idea was a nonstarter. He was out by August 2002. His buddies from Ladder 37 still call him for events: medal day, outings, breakfast at the firehouse. It's nice to stay connected, of course. But it's hard to move on when you stay so close. "I can't get to the next level," he says. "My job was my life. I can't get away from the fire department."
    In a closet upstairs—pressed and hung as if he were going to wear them to a shift later in the day—are Bazzicalupo's light-blue uniform shirts, medal-laden dress uniform, suspenders, and dress hat. Oddly, the FDNY still mails his new uniform shirts to his old firehouse every year. "No one else can use them," Bazzicalupo says, chuckling. "They've got my name on them."
    Doctors have found something in Joe McMahon's lungs as well, small nodules that could become a worry someday. But that's not what concerns him now. McMahon's real troubles aren't hidden. They're on display in his home office.
    The little room looks normal at first: There are push-up stands, a couple of dumbbells, uniform shirts, and mementos from his time in the Marines and his six years as a federal marshal before McMahon, a firefighter's son, joined the FDNY in 1990. But then you notice the bookcases and shelves. There is an antique fire department parade belt that says "Springfield," an old fire bucket, a leather hose from around 1860, a golden nozzle, and postcards of horse-drawn engines. There are old-fashioned fire toys and multiple copies of firefighting histories. That's just some of his collection. And none of it was there before McMahon went to ground zero. He has binged on eBay.
    "What happened to me after 9-11," he says, "is I started collecting pre-1900 firefighting equipment, books, literature. But this is insane because it's costing me a lot of money. I'm trying to get back to before 9-11. I wanted to go so far, apparently, I went back to when they used horses. I want to pretend that it didn't happen."
    The office sits on the first floor of McMahon's tidy Bayside home. There's an in-ground pool in the backyard, which McMahon's wife insisted he put in after 9-11. She knew he loved the water, having spent much of his childhood living in Breezy Point, and after the disaster, she figured, well, why wait to do the things you love? On a table in the dining room is a picture of McMahon with his little girl, now five, in a frame that says, "A father is a hero of life's daily adventures."
    Madison was nine months old the day McMahon, a member of the Coast Guard Reserve, came racing home from Fort Wadsworth in Staten Island, grabbed his gun and raid jacket, and sped off to Lower Manhattan. He was on military leave for annual reserve duty when the planes hit, and he begged his Coast Guard commander to let him go to the scene. He knew that his old company, Engine 6 (where he started his FDNY career and worked for nine years before becoming a fire marshal in 1999), would be there. When McMahon finally arrived at ground zero, however, he realized the missing firefighters wouldn't be found alive. So he volunteered at the morgue to help find what was left of his brothers.
    At first, McMahon says, he handled the job well. He had a Marine's discipline and was a trained investigator. It was not unusual to see dead bodies in his FDNY work. The difference was, in those cases, death came and went. It was not recalled through bumper stickers, T-shirts, decals, posters, documentaries, shrines, and benefit concerts. The moment of death was not replayed endlessly on the news or rehashed in countless conversations. And usually death came in small doses, not by the thousands. Eventually, the sheer accumulation of terrible sights (McMahon also handled bodies from the November 2001 crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in Queens) and his inability to escape them began to weigh on him. First, his family was a comfort and a distraction. But by December 2001, that wasn't enough.
    "I would literally drink until I fell asleep," he says. "They said it's because I was trying to suppress what I'd seen. I couldn't go to sleep until I drank everything in the house. It would be dangerous if I brought home a case of beer. It went from one beer to passing out." McMahon had battled alcoholism before and been sober since 1992. When he started drinking again in late 2001, it was far worse than his earlier struggles with booze. There are portions even of 9-11 itself that are blacked out in his memory because of the drinking.
    When the recovery effort wrapped up in May 2002, McMahon was promoted to lieutenant and assigned to an engine company. Right away, he knew something was wrong. Before he'd go on duty, his breathing got shallow and rapid, his heart raced, and his palms got sweaty. At first McMahon thought he was just nervous about his new responsibility of leading men into fires. But it went on and on. He'd start to get anxious a half-hour before his shift, then an hour. Then two hours, then the night before, then two days before.
    "For the last four years, that's how I've been going to work," he says. "I had this impending sense of doom, that something was going to collapse on the guys—that it's going to be my last tour. At the end of every tour, I felt alive. I felt like I had escaped death. Every single night I was drinking myself to sleep."
    Last fall, a story about corpses found after Hurricane Katrina triggered a mounting series of flashbacks. McMahon began to suspect that he had PTSD. He approached the fire department's counseling unit—which had helped him when he quit drinking in 1992—but found no offerings that fit his needs. So he sent a letter to the chief FDNY medical officer: "There is just too much pain and grief to forget or to get over. I will never get over these experiences. It is just too much for one person."
    He stopped drinking, joined two support groups, and got a therapist. He has been sober since September 2005. But he is not free of the pain. Recently, something happened while he was driving on the L.I.E. "It's called passive suicide," he says. "I didn't want to kill myself. But I said, 'If that truck comes over that divider, I'd be at peace.' That part of me that's still Joe said, 'This is not good.' I said, 'I'm afraid of an impulse.' " He worried what he might do on the edge of a subway platform or a roof. He was hospitalized for two weeks, and his medication was changed from one antidepressant/anti-
    One doctor told McMahon that if something like 9-11 ever happens again, no one should be subjected to even a month of what he experienced. "What I had was a prolonged exposure," he says. "I think that's what the problem was." The toll showed when McMahon tried to come back from medical leave for a light-duty assignment. He was hospitalized within six weeks. "The constant reminder of the fire department," he says, "is a problem for me."
    McMahon made it to the Engine 6 Christmas party last year for the first time since 9-11, but he simply cannot go to the funerals and memorial services that are part of the department's life. Even as he's amassed his collection of old-time firefighting paraphernalia, McMahon has thrown out all his FDNY T-shirts. They are reminders of the morgue. "Yes, you do miss the camaraderie," he says, waiting for the call from the retirement board. "I'll miss it, but I won't miss it. I can't do it. I cannot do it."
    Leaving the FDNY means abandon-ing a life that cannot be found elsewhere. The job is steeped in tradition and history, inextricably linked to the white male character the department largely retains. While people in office cubicles may wonder about their purpose in life, 99.9 percent-male firehouses don't face those questions. In a high-tech world, the FDNY still relies onbrawn and courage to fight fires in essentiallythe same way they've always been fought—by spraying water on them.
    "You lose your identity, you lose your occupation," says Mike Telesca, reflecting on his exit from the FDNY as he sits on his porch. "The excitement—I miss the excitement. Being with the guys. No matter what kind of bull**** was going on in the job, you put that away. The most important thing was putting out fires."
    Telesca had said in October 2005 that he wasn't in touch with many firefighter friends, but by January 2006 that changed. He began making weekly visits to a pleasantly decorated suite of offices in Soho where the FDNY's Counseling Services Unit keeps its Manhattan office. Active firefighters and their families can go to the CSU to get help with different problems. But it has also become a meeting place for retirees whose careers were ended, one way or another, by 9-11. They gather most Tuesdays for group therapy. "I was reluctant at first," says Telesca, who eventually got Frank Bazzicalupo (who, years earlier, gave skating lessons to Telesca's kids) to come with him. "But now I like it. It's just shooting the breeze, so it almost feels like sitting in the firehouse kitchen."
    But it's not exactly the same thing; the real firehouse is next door. And that's the big issue the men are dealing with. As Telesca puts it, they're trying to make peace with "the sudden realization that they are retired."
    One of them is Louis Cacchioli, the guy who helped Telesca up West Street. He made it up to the 24th floor of the north tower on 9-11. Most of the guys he went in with did not make it out, and Cacchioli escaped with a damaged eye and lung injuries. When he learned in January 2002 that he would never return to full duty, he was so shaken up that he forgot what exit to take off the L.I.E. to get home. "It was the saddest day of my life," Cacchioli said as he sat in the CSU waiting room in May, referring not to 9-11 but to the day he learned he was out of the firehouse. Kevin Fraser, another member of the group, said he cannot walk by a building and not size up how he'd approach it with the company he led as a lieutenant.
    "Where can you go and get laughter, get excitement, get camaraderie, get knowledge?" Bazzicalupo says. Sure, there were guys in the firehouse who were not fit for the job, he says, men who needed to have a few drinks before their shift or who chain-smoked between runs. There were fights. There was the time when Bazzicalupo was going through his divorce and wanted to die on the job, because the FDNY was the family that loved him in a way he understood. But these truths just complete the picture; they don't change it. In a fire company, you could count on things like courage and loyalty. "There was no making enemies in the firehouse," he says, "because that guy might turn his back."
    Even if Telesca wanted to sever his connection to the FDNY and memories of 9-11, as McMahon is trying to do, his body will not let him. Doctors are waiting for the nodules in Telesca's lungs to grow large enough for a biopsy. He's tacked a good five minutes onto his five-mile runs. Maybe he's just getting old. But the fear is that he has something serious. The law Governor Pataki recently signed means Telesca's family can qualify for a line-of-duty death benefit if he dies from his lung problems. But like all rescuers' kin, they must prove the ailment was linked to 9-11.
    The physical scars aren't the only ones. When Telesca arrived home on the evening of 9-11, his family greeted him on the lawn with tears of relief. But the day itself only began the hard times. Telesca, like many others, drank a lot in the beginning. He flipped a coin one Saturday morning to figure out which of two friends' simultaneous funerals he should attend, put on his uniform, paced the floor, and ultimately just retreated to bed.
    He went back to ground zero twice in the week following the attack, not on duty but as a volunteer. "Every time they moved a piece of steel," he says, "I was useless," too jumpy to be of much help. One day, all the workers at the Pile gathered around as a priest gave a benediction. Telesca and a friend stood in the back. Suddenly, air horns went off. Everyone ran right at Telesca and his pal, so they ran too, right into a Suffolk County cop car that then sped away. There were fears, apparently, that another building was coming down. Telesca shakes his head and says, "I never should have gone back."
    He dreams of 9-11 a couple times a week and says he never sleeps through the night anymore. He has worried about how to structure his pension to protect his wife in case he dies prematurely. His family has to live with his anger, bitterness, and mood swings. "Let's just say it hasn't been an enjoyable four years for them or me," he says. He regrets ever going to work that day. All he did was become a victim.
    But then there's the matter of the 15 people he guided out of the Marriott. Didn't he save them? "I've thought about that numerous times," he says, "and I tell you what, it goes back to my definition of what 'saving' means. I led them to safety. It doesn't mean I saved them." He applies this test to the entire operation at ground zero. "They like to say that we saved 25,000 that day," he says. Certainly, some companies did save people who were injured on the stairs. But Telesca recalls the scene that greeted him when he walked into the concourse under the towers that day: hundreds and hundreds of pairs of women's shoes left behind by their fleeing owners. "Twenty-five thousand people self- evacuated. We saved maybe a hundred people. Maybe."
    It'd be nicer to think that the 343 firefighters who died and the others who now can't breathe easily or sleep soundly saved many times their number. But that doesn't work for Telesca. "I'm a firm believer that history should be told as accurately as possible with no bias," he says. "It's just not true. It's just plain not true."
    Not everyone feels like that. Bazzicalupo, for one, stresses that he is not bitter. Sure, he's a little upset that the FDNY hasn't done a better job of monitoring his health since he retired. He's suspicious of his doctor's assurance that his lung damage has been arrested. And he's a little puzzled by the firefighters who accepted free vacation trips while he and others labored at ground zero. But he says he doesn't regret spending those days at the Pile. "Am I frightened that this is going to take my life?" He doesn't answer his question. He says he thinks of people who, after a person's death, say that he died as a hero. He asks himself, "Am I thinking in my mind, 'He died for a cause'?"
    Later that Friday in June, Joe McMahon gets a phone call telling him his disability pension is approved. He'll be retired effective at nine the next morning and was to turn in his gear the following Monday.
    An alarm goes off at one point in the afternoon to remind him to pick up his daughter from school. McMahon has a lot of memory lapses, forgets the years when important things happened, and loses the thread of conversations easily. And his rescuer's instinct is suppressed under a web of anxiety. When he heard an accident on his street recently he froze in place rather than race into action because he dreaded seeing anyone hurt. He's paranoid about unattended packages. He has asked a friend dealing with similar problems if he is ever going to be all right. "Joe, you'll never be all right," the buddy has said. "You'll be a new all right."
    McMahon sees good as well as bad in that. He doesn't regret volunteering for the morgue because there was honor in retrieving his brothers. And the endless parade of bodies, gruesome and inhuman as they were in their deaths, awakened something in McMahon. "I never grasped the gravity of humanity and what it meant before 9-11," he says. That's exactly what troubles him now. In between the sterile public recollection of ground zero and the carnage he saw were human lives— he calls them "miracles"—who lived; had dignity, voices, and foibles; and then died helplessly and horribly. Somewhere between his nightmare and the cliché is genuine humanity that was killed and then sort of forgotten, compressed. McMahon is hoping to bridge the gap, and that's why he talks about it now.
    But the insight comes at a price. "I have to carry the burden of what I saw. And I have to carry a lot of secrets that other people don't know about," he says. He looks off. "I'm going to die with a lot of secrets, unfortunately." McMahon knows what people had in their pockets when they died. He knows whose body was found near whose, hinting at connections between lives in their final moments. And he believes that the official versions of how they died were well-intentioned white lies. "Most of the medical examiner's reports listed 'blunt trauma' as the cause of death. And nothing could be further from the truth. Listen, those people were ripped apart," he says. "The family needed to move on. We needed to have closure. Are we going to say 'decapitated'? No one wants to say that stuff. 'Blunt trauma' is bull****. That's understating the loss of humanity that day."
    In his last hours as one of the Bravest, McMahon has one secret he can share. Sometimes, he says, when a firefighter's next of kin were told that remains had been located, they were not informed of exactly what had been found. So there might have been a single piece—say, a metatarsal fragment, a foot bone about the size of the thumb—in a sealed plastic bag inside a brown paper sack labeled with the number from the list. But the family would show up with a hearse and a gurney, expecting to see some recognizable part of their beloved. "So we've got this big gurney," McMahon recalls. "We've got this body bag and this flag, and we've got this plastic baggie the size of your thumb. So we'd say, '**** it,' put the box in, zip it up." Then McMahon would blow forcefully into the bag to inflate it. "Pretend it's heavy," he'd tell the men carrying the bag to the hearse. "Don't let them see it weighs three ounces."
    Was it the right thing to do, McMahon wonders. "I sit here right now, and I don't know," he says. "Did I hurt people's feelings? I'll never know. But I have to live with that for the rest of my life. It was mind-boggling."
    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*****************

  19. #79
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Thank you for the article, Ray.
    ‎"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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    August 26, 2006 -- Even as the city and federal government were reassuring New Yorkers that the air at Ground Zero was safe in the weeks after Sept. 11, some officials were sounding the alarm within their agencies about air quality at the site. A series of court documents and internal memos reveals, among other things, a City Hall divided over when to reopen downtown to workers and shoppers, and a failure to enforce regulations aimed at assuring that workers were protected in the sooty, dust-filled air. Five years later, the cost of those decisions may be now coming due in mysterious illnesses, shortened careers, even lost lives -- and a class action lawsuit by 7,000 people. On Oct. 6, 2001, for example, while the city and the Environmental Protection Agency were repeatedly reassuring New Yorkers that the air at Ground Zero was safe, a top city health department official wrote a three-page memo raising "critical environmental issues" related to the disaster. Associate Commissioner Kelly McKinney wrote that there were deep disagreements between the Office of Emergency Management and the Department of Environmental Protection over whether the air was safe enough to allow people back into the zone. "The mayor's office is under pressure from building owners and business owners in the red zone to open more of the city to occupancy," McKinney wrote. "According to OEM, some city blocks north and south of Ground Zero are suitable for reoccupancy. DEP believes the air quality is not yet suitable for reoccupancy. I was told the mayor's office was directing OEM to open the target areas next week." McKinney, now with OEM, did not respond to a written request for comment.

    'Strict standard'

    In response to Newsday's questions, the city's law department issued a statement saying no area was reopened until testing had found it safe. "Areas were not reopened to the public until they were cleaned of dust and debris and testing demonstrated at least two consecutive days of asbestos levels below the strict standard for reoccupancy of schools," said Kenneth A. Becker, chief of the law department's World Trade Center unit.

    Records reviewed by Newsday also indicate:

    City, state and federal officials failed to enforce workplace safety laws -- for example, fining or expelling workers who did not wear respirators. Use of respirators remained below 45 percent for most of the recovery project, records show. The city's Department of Environmental Protection, which conducted tests for asbestos in the days immediately after Sept. 11 that showed dangerously high levels of the fibers, did not reveal those test results to the public. The results were later disclosed by the state in response to a Freedom of Information request. Within a few weeks of the attacks, the city -- aware that it probably would face massive litigation over the environmental hazards -- had begun preparing itself. One official expressed concern that environmental claims might "bankrupt" the city. Three weeks after the collapses, in a signal of brewing concern, Fire Department doctors urgently requested $6 million to study health effects of Ground Zero work on firefighters.

    Many are sickened

    Public officials relied on a large volume of testing to conclude the air was safe, but the mounting number of ailing claimants has generated anger among people whose lives are intertwined with Ground Zero about those initial reassuring statements. "If you are a leader, you should make sure your people are safe," said Thomas Barnett, a retired New York City police officer and former PBA delegate. "And all of a sudden because people are dying, you're going to make it an issue? You should have put money on the side for it from the beginning." Barnett, now 44, played an important but until now, unreported role in raising health concerns shortly after Sept. 11. Working at Ground Zero in the first week, he recalled being suspicious about air quality at the site. "I felt that if there was no problem, fine, but if there was a problem, it should be brought to the forefront," he said. Barnett called Joel Kupferman, an environmental lawyer, and on Sept. 19, 2001, he quietly slipped Kupferman into Ground Zero where they spent two hours collecting dust samples. Kupferman sent the samples to two labs. The results showed high levels of fiberglass and pulverized asbestos that had been exposed to extraordinary heat. The disclosure spurred Kupferman to mount an ongoing campaign to raise public awareness and pressure the government to act on health concerns. Even as officials were dismissing concerns over the dust raised by independent analysts, McKinney indicates in his Oct. 6, 2001, memo that he took those concerns seriously. McKinney refers to a U.S. Geological Survey study, which found that the dust was as caustic as drain cleaner. That study was not disclosed to the public until February 2002. "EPA has been slow to make results available and to date has not sufficiently informed the public of air quality issues arising from this disaster," McKinney wrote. He also noted that during a multi-agency meeting at Pier 92, a federal public health specialist called the EPA air quality assessment inadequate. "He indicated," McKinney wrote, "that the number of samples collected, the types of analysis performed, and the quality control procedures followed were resulting in an insufficient characterization of the air quality impacts arising from this disaster."

    Lax on safety compliance

    And at a time when those overseeing the cleanup had declared that Ground Zero safety rules were being followed, McKinney noted an EPA memo indicates workers are "not complying" with the rules. McKinney suggested that the Health Department should start issuing violations to enforce the safety rules. The idea went nowhere. It wasn't until February 2002 that the city's Department of Design and Construction began to issue fines to companies whose workers disregarded the safety rules, records show. Neither McKinney, now with OEM, nor health department officials responded to a written request for comment. Early on, the federal, state and local officials running the site decided that the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which enforces workplace safety rules, would only act in an advisory capacity, records show. Kenneth Holden, the city official in charge of Ground Zero until June 2002, believed that the guidelines in place were sufficient. "We knew that the air quality was less than ideal, but I was also repeatedly and regularly informed that the protection those employees had was sufficient to protect their health," he said in a deposition in the pending class action suit. But Ground Zero workers routinely flouted rules requiring the use of respirators. An OSHA summary spanning Sept. 11 to March shows that respirator use among construction workers rarely exceeded 45 percent and was often much lower. The rate among police officers and firefighters was only slightly better. Safety inspectors who roamed the site consistently reported the failure to use respirators. "We have observed very inconsistent compliance with our recommendations," the EPA's Bruce Sprague warned in an Oct. 5 memo. On Oct. 15, Stew Burkhammer, an official with Bechtel, the firm initially in charge of safety, complained to city safety official Robert Adams: "They are either refusing to take corrective action or are giving our team excuses as to why we have no authority to tell them anything. Our team members are not used to taking abuse like this and are getting very discouraged." In January and February 2002, the failure to use respirators remained a serious problem. On Jan. 3, for example, DDC official Bruce Rottner wrote that just 20 percent of workers were wearing their respirators. "Throughout the entire site tonight and last night use of respiratory protective equipment . . . was terrible," Rottner wrote. There were several reasons for the problems. The masks were difficult to wear. It was hard to breathe and hard to talk in them. And it was a lot to ask workers, on exhausting 12-hour shifts, to wear them at all times, according to memos at the time. Though OSHA said it had trained thousands of workers, some Ground Zero workers claimed that they either never received respirators or did not receive adequate training in using them. "Five minutes before the party is not the best time to learn to dance," said Chase Sargent, a Virginia Beach-based urban search and rescue specialist who served as FEMA's operations chief for the incident support team at the site.Several officials have acknowledged in depositions that there was no one person in charge of enforcing the safety guidelines. In hindsight, Sam Benson, a city OEM official, testified: "I certainly would have had more of an overhead team ... and to have a more disciplined process."

    Early signs of problems

    From the first week, officials had statistics, which raised questions about the air quality. From the day of the attack through Nov. 20, more than 100 Ground Zero workers per week were treated for lung injuries, records show. In all, between Sept. 11 and Nov. 18, 983 Ground Zero workers reported lung injury. Another 200 workers complained of throat irritation. In late September 2001, the two top medical officials in the Fire Department, David Prezant and Kerry Kelly, submitted a $6 million funding request to study and track firefighters and paramedics exposed to hazards at the site. Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen backed the request, which was granted. He wrote: "Time is of the essence to ensure that these tests are completed quickly so that possible exposure to certain substances can still be measured." In their proposal, doctors Prezant and Kelly saw the study as urgent and necessary. "If this had been a private industrial accident, every worker on-site would be tested and evaluated," the doctors wrote. The city DEP had test results taken between Sept. 12 and Sept. 29 that showed hazardous levels of asbestos up to seven blocks from Ground Zero in 17 of 87 tests, and readings that overloaded the sensors in 29 other cases because dust clogged the filters. But not until Kupferman's Freedom of Information request in December 2001 to the state were those results made public, he said. Separately, Cate Jenkins, an EPA scientist long critical of the 9/11 environmental testing, claimed that DEP altered or withheld the "overload" data when it posted the results on its Web site in 2002. Asked about her claims, the city responded to Newsday Friday by noting the overload readings are a common occurrence in dusty conditions, making the test unusable but not indicating the presence of asbestos. "The accumulated data from DEP, EPA, OSHA and other agencies showed no significant pattern of elevated asbestos levels," wrote Becker of the law department. Very early on, city officials were concerned about the potential cost of 9/11-related environmental claims. In September 2001, the city hired the accounting firm, Ernst and Young, to perform a risk assessment. The firm estimated in an October report that the city faced a potential liability of more than $450 million for environmental claims and needed $2.8 billion in insurance coverage. The long-term health concerns, in part, spurred the city to try to limit its liability starting relatively early on after the attacks. On Oct. 15, a letter written by city lawyers and signed by Holden asked the state to persuade FEMA to pay for claims not covered by insurance. "I am concerned that the construction management firms and the city will be open to exposure years after the project based on hazardous materials claims," the letter said. "This type of exposure would bankrupt the CMs and perhaps the city." In its response to Newsday's questions, the law department's Becker noted: "After 9/11, the city took reasonable steps to assess the potential for litigation against it and its contractors and to seek federal protection from the possibility of such litigation. In today's very litigious society, a city must recognize and prepare for the risks of possible litigation."
    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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