1. #76
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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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  2. #77
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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*****************

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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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    http://villagevoice.com/news/0635,barrett,74322,6.html

    Rudy's Grand Illusion
    What Giuliani likes to remember about 9-11—and what he actually did (or didn't do)


    by Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins
    August 29th, 2006 1:10 PM

    The day after: Giuliani tours ground zero with Schumer, Pataki, Clinton, and others.
    photo: AP/Wide World

    From the book GRAND ILLUSION: The Untold Story of Rudy Giuliani and 9/11 by Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins.
    Copyright 2006 by Wayne Barrett and Dan Collins.
    Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers.

    When Rudy Giuliani looks back to September 11, he relies not upon the memory of the day itself, but on his memory of the telling of the tale, which he has recounted over and over. That is always the way for people who have lived through a complicated, high-adrenaline event. We sort it out in our minds, assigning order to the confusing rush of images. But there are invariably other realities—sights and sounds and irrefutable facts that we failed to notice at the time, or that we edit out later to give some order to the story in our own minds.

    His vision filtered by the years of retelling, Giuliani remembers an order beneath the chaos of falling debris and jumping victims. The city's emergency services were functioning as they were meant to, with him at the helm. "The line of authority is clear," he told the 9-11 Commission. "The mayor is in charge. In the same way the president of the United States is commander in chief, the mayor is in charge. That's why people elect the mayor, so they get the choice of whether they get a strong captain or a weak captain or a lieutenant or whatever." Praised for heading toward danger rather than away from it, Giuliani replied, "That was my job. I was mayor. Part of my job description was to coordinate and supervise emergencies. The agencies that were the primary responders were all agencies that worked for the mayor. We had a format for how we did it, and part of that included my being there, so that I could coordinate and make sure everybody was working together."

    Rudy Giuliani's performance on 9-11 is legendary, but for most people, the story boils down to one image: the mayor walking north from the disaster, covered with dust. Afterward, in his greatest achievement, he was able to give voice to all the things the rest of us needed and wanted to hear. He articulated our grief, shored up our confidence, and insisted on a level- headed response that gave no berth to intolerance. We resist knowing anything more—about the eight-year history of error and indifference that preceded that moment, or the toxic disengagement that followed it.

    We also actually know very little about what the mayor really did before he stood up, covered in the remnants of the World Trade Center, and began to speak to the world. Giuliani has been allowed to be his own solitary storyteller, and his unexamined 102 minutes transformed him into an international brand of public courage.

    Shortly after the second plane slammed into the twin towers, Giuliani's car pulled up slightly northeast of 7 WTC, where his extremely expensive and ultra- sophisticated Emergency Operations Center was perched high up above many large tanks of combustible fuel. Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik, who was waiting to meet him, decided it was too dangerous to bring the mayor up to the command center he had so carefully and expensively built. Instead, Kerik pointed out a nearby office building at 75 Barclay Street and said they were "taking people out and setting up a command post" there.

    "Is this going to be our main command post?" Giuliani asked Kerik in his own account of the day's events, and Kerik said yes. Then the mayor wanted to know where the fire department was set up. Kerik told him that the top chiefs had their command post two blocks away, on West Street, and the two men headed over there.

    Looking back with serene hindsight, it's easy to see what the mayor's most important mission should have been at that critical moment. He needed to make sure the proud and fractious police and fire departments were working together. The fire officials were clearly at the center of the action. Chief of Department Pete Ganci, First Deputy Commissioner Bill Feehan, and search-and-rescue chief Ray Downey had begun the day in the North Tower. Then, looking for a location with a better view of the fires, they set up an impromptu command post on the far side of the eight-lane West Street, where they would manage the total incident, working with the board that locates all department resources involved in fighting a fire.

    When Giuliani arrived at 9:20, Ganci and the chiefs told the mayor that "they had already gotten some people out above the plane," that they'd been "lucky enough to have a stairway that they could come down." Giuliani thought the chiefs were talking about a stairway in the North Tower, where, in fact, none were ever passable. But he may have misunderstood the chiefs, and they may have been talking about Stairway A in the South Tower, the single passageway to survival that, in the end, only 18 people found. Neither fire dispatch nor 911, which handled countless calls from people stuck above the South Tower fire, were ever told about an open stairway, though the chiefs apparently knew about one.

    "What should I tell people? What should I say?" Giuliani asked.

    "The message has to be: 'Get in a stairway and come down. Do not stay there,' " the mayor recalled Ganci saying. Of course, the city's emergency operators never stopped giving precisely the opposite advice.

    Kerik and Ganci talked briefly. It was the only time the two leaders of these often dueling departments would speak that day. Uncomfortable about the exposed location, Kerik then said, "Mayor, we've got to get you out of here and set up a command post." Hector Santiago, a member of Kerik's detail, heard the false alarm of a third plane over the radio and yelled, "Boss, we have to go. There's a third plane coming. We're underneath the building. We have to go." With chunks of the towers falling on West Street, Giuliani urged Ganci to move the command post. They exchanged God-bless-you's.

    Then the mayor, Kerik, Deputy Police Commissioner Garry McCarthy, and other top cops all left. The chief of the department, Joe Esposito, was on his way to the fire command post when Giuliani left. Informed by radio that the group was leaving just as he approached, Esposito, the highest-ranking uniformed officer, was also diverted to Barclay Street. Joe Dunne, the first deputy police commissioner, arrived shortly after Giuliani departed and was told to turn around and join the mayor. Deputy Mayor Joe Lhota, who also met Giuliani on Barclay and went to West Street with him, said, "There were no police officials at the command post when we got there and none when we left."

    After presiding over endless turf battles between the two proud departments, Giuliani knew how critical police-fire cooperation was, and he knew it wouldn't happen automatically. Yet in his book Leadership, Giuliani wrote: "I turned north and headed to the Police Department command post." In his 9-11 Commission testimony, he said, "I then walked up with, at this point, the police commissioner, the deputy police commissioner, and the chief of the department. I was really brought into 75 Barclay and told this would be our command post."

    The "our" was the police and the mayor. Yet the fire department was responsible for managing the city response to any fire—a series of interagency directives that Giuliani had signed only a few months earlier said so. Giuliani's role at that moment was to do everything he could to put police and fire commanders at the same post, not participate in setting up a police command post at Barclay that would be separate from Ganci's. If the mayor felt that he needed to go to Barclay—for reasons of safety or to get hard phone lines and hold a press conference—why did he bring all of the top police commanders with him? Why did he never raise the subject of a joint response while at West Street? And since Ganci said he was moving his post, why was there no discussion of a new joint location that would include some of the top police decision makers?

    Everyone agrees that a critical problem that day was that the police and fire departments could not communicate; that's one of the reasons the lack of inter- operable radios became such a focus of fury. If the top brass of the two departments were at each other's sides, they could have told each other whatever they learned from their separate radio systems. Many of the command and control issues that might have saved lives could clearly have been better dealt with had Giuliani stopped, taken a deep breath, and pushed Kerik and Ganci to fully and effectively join forces. Insisting that Kerik, McCarthy, Esposito, or Dunne stay at the incident post would have established a joint operation.

    Even Fire Commissioner Tom Von Essen, who also left West Street to join the mayor, said later: "There should be a representative from the Police Department there; there should be a high-level chief from the Fire Department there. They should be controlling the operation from that command post. That day the police did not hook up with the Fire Department. I don't know why."

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology found that "functional unified operations were diminished as a result of the two departments' command posts being separated." In fact, said NIST, there's no record that "any senior police department personnel" were assigned "to provide liaison or assist" with Ganci's incident post. The longtime head of Giuliani's emergency management office, Jerry Hauer, pointed out the most dire consequence of the split command posts: "Had there been a senior police liaison at the command post, information about what the police were observing in the air could have been relayed to the ground." He, the 9-11 Commission, and NIST agree that at a joint post, the fire chiefs would have gotten the warnings of collapse issued by police helicopters that they otherwise missed.

    Giuliani had the opportunity to make that kind of unified direction happen—and, by his own description, the obligation to make it happen—but he didn't. In his first detailed post–9-11 television interview he recalled that he "walked away" from Ganci's post "and took my people with me." But they were not just "his" people, meaning his City Hall deputies. Included in his entourage was the entire police command.

    In that same September 22 interview, Giuliani offered a different explanation for his initial decision to go to the FDNY post on West Street: "I wanted to join the Fire Department and the Police Department together at one command post, so I asked where the Fire Department command post was." He had inadvertently described what he should have done, indeed what his own protocol required him to do. But obviously, that story didn't fit the facts. So by the time he appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show on September 27, he remembered things differently. "And then when I got there," he said, "I wanted to make sure that the police department had a command post so that we could communicate with the White House, and the fire department had one so they could actually focus their attention on fighting the fire and the rescue."

    By the time he wrote Leadership in 2002, he'd come up with a detailed rationale. He said the separation of command posts was "absolutely necessary" because "the Fire Department had to lead the rescue and evacuation," while the Police Department "had to protect the rest of the city." Since the departments were "performing different tasks," he argued, they had to have different command posts. Of course, the departments have some different duties in virtually all emergencies, but that reasoning flew in the face of not only all modern understanding of how to coordinate responses to epic catastrophes, but also all the plans Giuliani'sown government had put in place. If it were true that different emergency functions required a separation of command, there would have been no rationale for a coordinating Office of Emergency Management. Everybody could just do their own thing. Unified command is now such accepted wisdom that the Department of Homeland Security requires it.

    And of course, as the mayor well knew, the police department was deeply in- volved in the rescue and evacuation on 9-11. That's why 23 cops died. Five emergency service units were sent in to climb the steps just like firefighters, as were other plainclothes and patrol cops. Kerik recounts in his book how "our ESU guys were pulling on their masks and marching off toward the buildings" just like the "brave firefighters."

    The real, and obvious, explanation for why Giuliani left things as they were at West Street was that he was as unnerved as everyone else. The fire and police departments were acting on long-held instinct by staying apart, and the mayor shied away from interfering with men who were busy making life-and-death decisions. It was as human a response as his calming and compassionate statements later that day. But it was also a mistake with consequences, and if New York and the nation actually examined Giuliani's unified-command dysfunction that day, both might be better prepared the next time. Unfortunately, admitting all this would not square with Time's salute: "When the day of infamy came, Giuliani seized it as if he had been waiting for it all his life, taking on half a dozen critical roles and performing each masterfully. Improvising on the fly, he became 'America's homeland-security boss,' as well as its 'gutsy decision-maker' and 'crisis manager.' "

    There was another reason for the Barclay command post, and Kerik hasn't been as shy as the mayor about mentioning it: security. "I was worried about the mayor and making sure we didn't put him in harm's way," he said later. Kerik's "immediate problem" was finding space "far enough removed that the mayor wasn't in danger." As sensible as protecting Giuliani was, it's a far different explanation from the mayor's rationale for the two posts.

    Whatever the mix of reasons, Giuliani has never been forced to explain, by investigators or reporters, how he squares the two-post decision with his own rules for how the police and fire departments were supposed to behave. John Farmer, the 9-11 Commission's top investigator for the city response chapter of its report, says Giuliani can't. "I don't know if he thought of it that day, but yes, it was not consistent with the protocol he established," Farmer says. "I think what he would tell you is that he thought coordination was occurring. He had Kerik with him, and the reality of these situations is that the coordination has to be not just two guys at the top; it has to be more integrated." Asked if Giuliani should be held accountable for this and other disarray that day, Farmer said, "Of course, the answer is yes. If you're the top official, you're accountable."

    The 9-11 Commission members reached conclusions similar to Farmer's, but so quietly that no one noticed. The commission report never described Giuliani's step-by-step actions that day, though it chronicles just about everyone else's, and it certainly never mentioned his role in creating two posts. But when it reached its ultimate conclusion that the fire department was not "responsible for the management of the City's response as the Mayor's directive would have required," the very next line was "the command posts were in different locations." Thus, the commission's best example of the violation of the mayor's directive was the mayor's own action.

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology added: "Unified command was hampered by the fire department and police department setting up separate command posts." It also found that the governing fire department protocol that day—issued in 1997 when Von Essen was commissioner—said that at a fire like this, "the departments act as 'one organization' and are managed as such." Instead of "several posts operating independently," the department circular provides that "the operation is directed from only one command post." Daniel Nigro, the only top fire chief at West Street to survive, said, "I think there should have been one command post. It should be run according to the incident command system, and that system puts one person in command and all the other agencies are there and they work from a single location."

    Ray Kelly, the police commissioner who preceded and followed the Giuliani years, said in an interview, "Sure, the separate command post was a violation of the protocols. The radios would have been no problem if they had been at the same command post, if they'd been face-to-face. The Office of Emergency Management was supposed to make that happen under the protocols, but Jerry Hauer wasn't there any-more. OEM had the power to direct that to happen. Giuliani had the power to direct that to happen."

    The mayor's main mission, as he has put it in repeated accounts, was to gather the information he needed to tell a television and radio audience what they should do, especially people in jeopardy. By the time he talked directly to an audience, however, both towers had collapsed, and the message Ganci asked him to give occupants was moot. The mayor was, in the end, just one more dispatcher who failed to relay useful information. He said he went to Barclay for hard phone lines, but once he got there, his most pressing concern was reaching the vice president and that went nowhere—someone's phone line went dead, although it's unclear whether it was Giuliani's or Dick Cheney's.

    Right after the Cheney call disconnected, the South Tower collapsed. No one in the police department had apparently considered how Giuliani and, by then, a very large entourage would get out of the building in an emergency. So when the tower knocked out windows and drove rubble and ash into their first-floor safe haven, the group ran through the basement until they found a way into a neighboring building and out onto the street. They walked up Broadway and then Church, finally hooking up with cameras and press, searching again for a command post, with Giuliani pointing everyone north.

    Even the mayor eventually acknowledged that it might have been a mistake that his entire 25-member inner circle, including three deputy mayors, the police, fire, and Office of Emergency Management commissioners, was marching with him on this hazardous pilgrimage, a vulnerability that hardly reflected strategic thinking. This time, Giuliani's preference for the comfort of a huge entourage had disconnected the city's management and its fighting force at a crucial moment.

    The only time this confounding management choice took the form of a critical media question was on Fox the day after Giuliani's commission testimony in 2004, when John Gibson asked Hauer's successor at OEM, Richie Sheirer, about it. Gibson referred to "the worry" about how the Giuliani entourage had operated, questioning whether it was "fortuitous" that a single "chunk of concrete" hadn't fallen "on Rudy Giuliani, you, or somebody else," causing "the whole thing" to have "fallen apart." Gibson appeared to be questioning the wisdom of the fact that "all of the leaders of the city's emergency structure got together and had this little command center that moved around." Sheirer's answer was pure bluster. "No, there was nothing fortuitous about it," he said. "It was well planned. Our succession plan for the highest levels of government, the mayor and people like me, is very well in place and embedded. That was implemented to the degree that it needed to be."

    Kerik was actually a prime example of this managerial dysfunction all morning. For the 102 minutes when the city most needed a police commissioner orchestrating an overall response with an embattled fire department, Kerik became Giuliani's body guard, just as he had been in the 1993 mayoral campaign. His own account of what he did that morning contained no indication that he was actually managing the police response to this emergency. The command center at 1 Police Plaza wasn't opened until 9:45, an hour after the attack, a decision that led the independent consultants commissioned by the Bloomberg administration, McKinsey & Company, to raise questions about why it was "underused."

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    McKinsey also criticized the "number and continual movement of command posts," and the absence of any "clearly identifiable, main command post," errors associated with the top brass including Kerik, who, unlike Von Essen, is an operational chief. "Many leaders of the Department," the independent consultant found, "indicated that they operated primarily from instinct and experience during an emergency rather than according to a prioritized or structured set of objectives." Only 45 percent of the 557 cops who were surveyed by McKinsey said they "received clear instructions regarding my role on 9-11," with 34 percent saying they didn't and the rest undecided. A meager 24 percent said they were "confident" that the police department had adequate emergency plans. Remarkably, 89 percent had no training in building collapse, 84 percent had none in counterterrorism, 73 percent none in fire rescue/evacuation, and 70 percent none in bio/chem. Of the few who had training in any of these areas, less than a third found it "useful."

    The McKinsey report faulted virtually everything Kerik did that day without naming him or anyone else in top management, criticizing a "perceived lack of a strong operational leader commanding the response" and the "absence of clear command structure and direction on 9-11."

    Instead of dealing with any of these complex tactical issues on 9-11, Kerik's decisions—at 7 WTC, West Street, Barclay, and the basement—all revolved around the mayor's safety. Chris Marley, the building engineer at Barclay who guided the Giuliani group out, said, "Kerik had his arm around the mayor to protect him." Kerik was later asked what his priorities were that day and he told NPR, "Well, the first thing to do was to get the mayor out of there and get to a secure site." With Kerik, Esposito, Dunne, and McCarthy guarding him at points, Giuliani was protected by the highest-ranking detail in the history of the New York City Police Department. Yet not once did he look around and ask the question: Who's running the shop?

    "I don't know de facto who was in charge," Kelly said. "The police commissioner was the head of the organization. I don't know who was directing. I literally don't."

    Kerik was with the mayor because Giuliani wanted him to be. "I need the police and fire commissioners with me," Giuliani said when he summoned Von Essen. He also reached out to Richie Sheirer—the third member of the team who would be at his side for every 9-11 press briefing, then go with him to Giuliani Partners. All three had no real management credentials until Giuliani promoted them. Von Essen and Kerik went from the lowest ranks of their departments to the very top without ever passing a promotional exam. Giuliani had begun his mayoralty with a circle of managers, like Police Commissioner Bill Bratton and OEM's Hauer, who had track records elsewhere. He was ending it with a cult of personality. When he chose Kerik over the seasoned professional Dunne, he told reporters that the decision had come to him in a moment of personal inspiration. Not surprisingly, all Kerik could think about in a moment of great crisis was protecting the leader, even if it meant leaving a void in the department he was charged with commanding.

    Despite all these missteps, Giuliani was depicted almost immediately as the calmest man in the eye of the worst storm—decisive, self-sufficient, ironhearted. "It was so well orchestrated that you would have thought he had prepared for it forever," his lifelong secretary Beth Petrone-Hatton told Time. His own Time comments set the subsequent television interview tone: "There were times I was afraid. Everybody was. But the concentration was on. If I don't do what I have to do, everything falls apart. Something I learned a long time ago, from my father, is that the more emotional things get, the calmer you have to become to figure your way out. Those things have become a matter of instinct for me at 57 years old. I didn't have to invent them." He told CNN, "When it's an emergency, I'm very, very calm and very deliberate."

    If Giuliani had actually been doing all the things he now sees himself as having done that day—prioritizing, making strategic decisions about deployment of personnel, command centers, and communications—it would have been a superhuman performance. But actually, in those first hours, Giuliani was doing what most of us, in his place, would have done—struggling, stumbling, and even making a weighty mistake, in the case of the two command posts. His decision to try to get on the air as quickly as possible was sensible, as was his hunt for phones and, later, an alternative command center. But as unforgettable a visual as he was, roaming the canyons of Lower Manhattan, he did not do one thing in those 102 minutes that had any impact.

    And it isn't just his own story that he has hyped. Giuliani has repeatedly contended that 25,000 people were rescued, though government investigators determined that there were actually 15,000 survivors and that most of these people were able to make their own way to safety. While these facts do nothing to dim the magnificent bravery of the firefighters, police officers, and other responders who saved many lives that day, they do turn Giuliani's claim into just one more self-serving boast.

    The centerpiece of Giuliani's experience on 9-11, his dust-covered march uptown, was truly important to the city and the nation. His ordeal was not about management or even leadership—it was the sight of the mayor sharing that terrible experience with so many other fleeing New Yorkers. The symbol of the city was on the ground with his constituents, dirty and determined, conscious of the fact that there were many others who had been less fortunate. He did not have to save any lives to be important that day. Imagine how different our memories of Hurricane Katrina would be if Mayor Ray Nagin had been out in the water with the dispossessed, splashing his way toward the Convention Center.

    We rely on our leaders to behave well in such a moment, to set an example of calm and compassion. But we do not expect them to manage the intricacies of the rescue operation. For that, we hope there are men and women throughout the government who have been preparing and training just so that if a crisis comes, they can operate on instinct, yet automatically make the proper decisions. If the mayor of New York had made sure that the city's emergency headquarters was securely located and had put in place communications and command systems that worked, he would have been of greater service on 9-11—even if he had spent the whole day cowering under his desk.

    Giuliani has never acknowledged a single failing in his own performance. Yet he did nothing before September 11 to alleviate the effects of a terror attack. He embodied his city's lack of preparation on West Street that morning. And he did not do anything later that matched the moments of grace and resolve he gave us the day we needed him most. What we have left is this: At a moment when the public needed a hero, Rudy Giuliani stepped forward. When he assured New York that things would come out all right, he was blessedly believable. It was a fine thing. But it was not nearly as much as we, at the time, imagined.

    FTM-PTB

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    August 31, 2006 -- For the first time in nearly five years, city health officials released guidelines Thursday to help doctors recognize and treat September 11th related illnesses. Advocates say the recommendations are vital for thousands of rescue workers who responded to the World Trade Center attacks and now have serious medical ailments. Previously, the city's department of health issued guidelines on how to deal with post-traumatic stress disorder, substance abuse and mental abuse. The new guidelines will be mailed to all doctors practicing in New York and are available to those in other states as well.
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    Interesting article, thanks Fred.
    September 11th - Never Forget

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

    Sheri
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    September 4, 2006 -- Another 1,000 sick Ground Zero workers will join a class-action suit claiming that city negligence caused them to breathe toxic air at the World Trade Center site. "There's never been anything like this," lawyer Marc Jay Bern said. "I wouldn't be surprised if we end up filing 10,000 lawsuits." The plaintiffs' legal team said it represents 375 Ground Zero workers struck by cancer and that more than 50 others have died from WTC-related illnesses - many of them cops, firefighters and cleanup workers. Thousands of workers have respiratory illnesses brought on by toxic fumes and dust from the collapsed towers, Bern said. Manhattan federal Judge Alvin Hellerstein is expected to rule soon on whether the massive case can go forward. There are now 6,000 plaintiffs. Their lawyers argue that city and Port Authority officials failed to provide proper ventilators and masks. City lawyers insist that local governments are immune from liability in national, terror-inspired catastrophes and that the city did all it could to safeguard the workers.
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    Last edited by E40FDNYL35; 09-05-2006 at 06:23 AM.
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    Documents: Feds, City Knew Of Ground Zero Toxins
    Critics: Lower Manhattan Was Reopened Despite Knowledge The Air Was Unsafe
    A CBS 2 Exclusive
    Got a World Trade Center Health Problem? Tell Us.

    Marcia Kramer
    Reporting

    (CBS) NEW YORK Stunning proof has been uncovered that the government knowingly put New Yorkers in harm's way after 9/11.

    CBS 2 News has obtained documents revealing that Lower Manhattan was reopened a few weeks following the attack even though the air was not safe.

    The two devastating memos, written by the U.S. and local governments, show they knew. They knew the toxic soup created at Ground Zero was a deadly health hazard. Yet they sent workers into the pit and people back into their homes.

    One of the memos, from the New York City health department, dated Oct. 6, 2001, noted: "The mayor's office is under pressure from building owners ... in the Red Zone to open more of the city." The memo said the Department of Environmental Protection was "uncomfortable" with opening the areas but, "The mayor's office was directing the Office of Emergency Management to open the target areas next week."

    "Not only did they know it was unsafe, they didn't heed the words of more experienced people that worked for the city and E.P.A.," said Joel Kupferman, with the group Environmental Justice Project.

    Another part of the memo noted: "The E.P.A. has been very slow to make data results available and to date has not sufficiently informed the public of air quality issues arising from this disaster."

    "Unfortunately, it doesn't surprise me," said health protestor Yuichi Tamamo. "For the last five years we've been saying air quality here has been horrible."

    It also doesn't suprise Carmen Flores, who lives in an apartment in the Baruch Houses that was engulfed in the 9/11 toxic plume. Her health has deteriorated and she has multiple medicines.

    "I feel forgotten," she said.

    Bruce Sprague, an E.P.A. official in the New York and New Jersey region during 9/11 admited to CBS 2 News the agency was finding alarming air quality readings at Ground Zero and in the surrounding areas.

    Sprague said the E.P.A. had written much more conservative health assessments, but the memos had to go to Washington. And when the White House got its hands on them, they -- according to Sprague -- softened them.

    The city health department refused to comment on the memo, but inside sources told CBS 2 News the memo is real. And its veracity is not questioned by the Environmental Justice Project's Kupferman.

    He calls it "a smoking gun."
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    Default I'm no lawyer but.......

    WHY AREN'T THESE GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS IN PRISON???


    Their lies and/or omissions have resulted in the deaths and pain/suffering of many emergency responders and citizens. Someone must be held accountable.
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

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    Sep 18, 2006 9:21 pm US/Eastern

    EPA: 9/11 Toxic Air Drifted Away From Ground Zero
    Experts Say Contamination Stretched At Least 1 Mile

    Marcia Kramer
    Reporting

    (CBS) NEW YORK John Sforazo was one of many construction workers who toiled at ground zero without being told the air quality was bad.

    "We feel there was no regard for any of us," Sforazo said.

    A top Environmental Protection Agency official told CBS 2 Monday Sforazo may be right. The agency's own testing showed that.

    "As late as the end of 2001 and the beginning of 2002 the experts were measuring unhealthy air a mile north of the pile at levels higher than the Kuwaiti oil field fires," said Hugh Kaufman, a senior policy analyst for the EPA.

    That means that people living and working 20 blocks north of Liberty Street could have been breathing contaminated air for months.

    But that's not all. A never made public interview by the EPA inspector general with then-EPA administrator Christie Whitman's spokeswoman, Tina Kreisher, is the smoking gun.

    "When asked whether there was a conscious effort to reassure the public, Ms. Kreisher said there was such an effort," according to the document. "This emphasis 'came from the administrator (Whitman) and the White House,'"

    "Because of her actions and those of the White House thousands of people are sick and some are dead," Rep. Jerrold Nadler, D-Manhattan, said.

    Congressman Nadler was a special prosecutor appointed. Especially since other documents show Whitman was supposed to recuse herself from anything having to do with the Port Authority because she or her family owned Port Authority bonds. The Port Authority owned the World Trade Center.

    "Anything regarding air quality or anything else with regard to the World Trade Center site was at that point a conflict of interest," Rep. Nadler said.

    Added Sforazo: "We honestly feel like we are disposable refuse."
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    WASHINGTON - Proving that 9/11 responders are being killed by poisons inhaled at Ground Zero will be extremely tough - if not impossible - under a draft of guidelines being written by the federal government. The problem, the draft says, is there are not enough scientific studies - or autopsies of dead people - to make strong links. "Data does not yet exist to quantify relationships between WTC exposures and diseases causing death," says the 23-page draft released yesterday. The Daily News has exhaustively chronicled the plight of the ailing heroes of 9/11, and a recent study by the Mount Sinai Medical Center found that up to 70% of Ground Zero responders suffered health problems. A spokesman for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health emphasized the document was released to get feedback, and could change. But the report's claims that there's not enough evidence tomake conclusions about deaths of 9/11 responders alarmed people who are sure their loved ones fell ill because of their work at the World Trade Center site. "It's a typical bureaucratic way of getting out of helping people and paying medical bills," said Joseph Zadroga, the father of NYPD Detective James Zadroga, whose death was ruled a result of post-9/11 exposure by a New Jersey medical examiner. The New Jersey ruling was challenged by New York City's top medical official, Dr. Stephen Friedman, who helped draft the guidelines. "As far as I'm concerned, Dr.Friedman is a puppet of Bloombag," said Linda Zadroga, James' mother. "When my son's autopsy came back, he had glass in his lungs and pieces of human bone." The city is facing lawsuits over its 9/11 response, and The News has reported that city lawyers sat in on sessions aimed at drafting the guidelines. Sources told The News they were concerned the guidelines could become an impossible hurdle to proving a person's death is linked to the Trade Center site. Political leaders who have been demanding such guidelines were cautiously optimistic. "I hope that they strike the right balance and appropriately recognize those that may have died," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan.). Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) was also concerned the guidelines would not recognize what is obvious to so many. "There is a direct correlation between exposure to the toxic air around Ground Zero and the illness and even death we are seeing now," she said. "We need to keep the focus on speeding treatment to those whose health has been affected by 9/11." In a letter to Senate leaders, Clinton insisted the Senate Health Committee write legislation to help treat sick responders. Last week, the Senate refused to vote on a bill she wrote to spend $1.9 billion on 9/11 health care. Fred Blosser, a spokesman for the occupational safety institute, said the draft shows the feds are trying to get it right, and want to hear back from experts before they do more. "I would emphasize that this is a first cut, based on our need to move the ball forward," he said.
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    Quote Originally Posted by E40FDNYL35
    WASHINGTON - Proving that 9/11 responders are being killed by poisons inhaled at Ground Zero will be extremely tough - if not impossible - under a draft of guidelines being written by the federal government. The problem, the draft says, is there are not enough scientific studies - or autopsies of dead people - to make strong links. "Data does not yet exist to quantify relationships between WTC exposures and diseases causing death," says the 23-page draft released yesterday. The Daily News has exhaustively chronicled the plight of the ailing heroes of 9/11, and a recent study by the Mount Sinai Medical Center found that up to 70% of Ground Zero responders suffered health problems. A spokesman for the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health emphasized the document was released to get feedback, and could change. But the report's claims that there's not enough evidence tomake conclusions about deaths of 9/11 responders alarmed people who are sure their loved ones fell ill because of their work at the World Trade Center site. "It's a typical bureaucratic way of getting out of helping people and paying medical bills," said Joseph Zadroga, the father of NYPD Detective James Zadroga, whose death was ruled a result of post-9/11 exposure by a New Jersey medical examiner. The New Jersey ruling was challenged by New York City's top medical official, Dr. Stephen Friedman, who helped draft the guidelines. "As far as I'm concerned, Dr.Friedman is a puppet of Bloombag," said Linda Zadroga, James' mother. "When my son's autopsy came back, he had glass in his lungs and pieces of human bone." The city is facing lawsuits over its 9/11 response, and The News has reported that city lawyers sat in on sessions aimed at drafting the guidelines. Sources told The News they were concerned the guidelines could become an impossible hurdle to proving a person's death is linked to the Trade Center site. Political leaders who have been demanding such guidelines were cautiously optimistic. "I hope that they strike the right balance and appropriately recognize those that may have died," said Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-Manhattan.). Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) was also concerned the guidelines would not recognize what is obvious to so many. "There is a direct correlation between exposure to the toxic air around Ground Zero and the illness and even death we are seeing now," she said. "We need to keep the focus on speeding treatment to those whose health has been affected by 9/11." In a letter to Senate leaders, Clinton insisted the Senate Health Committee write legislation to help treat sick responders. Last week, the Senate refused to vote on a bill she wrote to spend $1.9 billion on 9/11 health care. Fred Blosser, a spokesman for the occupational safety institute, said the draft shows the feds are trying to get it right, and want to hear back from experts before they do more. "I would emphasize that this is a first cut, based on our need to move the ball forward," he said.
    Un-fracking -believable.

    New York City Hall should be renamed the dog pound, because it is fulll of mutts
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    WASHINGTON - Rick Fowler may still be the 9/11 firefighter on welfare, but thanks to the Daily News he isn't alone anymore. New Yorkers moved by the story of a broken hero - who went from a job he loved to pleading for public assistance - are reaching out. Some of them are his former Fire Department brothers who also are struggling to cope with their grief. "When I read [about Fowler], I realized I was in the same place, I felt the same way," said Walter Torres, who retired last year from the FDNY after more than 27 years. "He was dropped through the cracks, and he deserves help." A firefighter who didn't want his name used because he's still on the job, said he recognized in himself the same rage, despair and isolation that drove Fowler to stop going to firefighters' funerals and to resign from the FDNY. "I know what he went through, to the letter," said the veteran firefighter, who also was overwhelmed by mourning 343 fallen brethren. "My dress uniform, I won't even put it on anymore. It just reminds me of death." Fowler survived under a fire truck when the north tower fell on 9/11, but lost six of his Ladder Co. 118 pals - among them his cousin and best friend. He doesn't know whether he can ever recover from the psychological effects, but he now has hope of help. "We must do everything we can to help those suffering health effects from 9/11," said Sen. Hillary Clinton, whose office learned this week that Fowler, a 13-year FDNY veteran, is entitled assistance from the FDNY's 9/11 health program.Clinton also is looking into how Fowler may be able to get back his full FDNY benefits. The 46-year-old Air Force vet came back to New York in hopes of getting those benefits after his father, retired FDNY Capt. Fred Fowler, told him about a new law granting the emergency responders of 9/11 disability retirements. But Fowler, who needs nine medications to get through his days, was denied because he had resigned rather than retired. He was sent for welfare, getting $68.50 every two weeks, and he lost even that while he was hospitalized because he'd had suicidal thoughts. He got back on welfare last week after Sen. Chuck Schumer wrote to the Department of Social Services. Schumer also is asking Social Security officials to speed up Fowler's appeal for the disability claim. "It's like night and day," Fowler said of the help he's getting. "People have been so good to me. I've heard from everyone. The best man from my wedding found me, and my godmother." And there are people who never knew him. Michael Quackenbush, a North Carolina man who lost a brother on 9/11, reached out and wrote to Gov. Pataki on Fowler's behalf. Long Islander John Feal, who lost half his foot working on The Pile, plans to write Fowler a check from a foundation he created to help 9/11 victims. "Mr. Fowler can expect anywhere from $500 to $1,000 from the Feal Good Foundation," said Feal. The leaders of another organization, Full Circle Health, were so moved they want to honor him at a banquet next month. "We just want to do something to encourage him," said the Bronx-based agency's co-president, Darcel Dillard-Sweet. "We want to show some compassion, and tell him he's not alone."
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
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    September 24, 2006 -- A beloved retired firefighter who carried the body of his slain FDNY son from the World Trade Center rubble and then worked nine months to recover remains at Ground Zero now has cancer possibly linked to WTC toxins.
    Lee Ielpi, 62, a highly decorated firefighter, worked 10 to 14 hours a day amid the smoking rubble. The 26-year veteran, who lost his 29-year-old son, Jonathan, in the Twin Towers, later served as vice president of the 9/11 Victims and Families Association.

    Suffering a shortness of breath and slight swelling in his ankle, Ielpi went for a FDNY screening three months ago. He has Waldenstrom's macroglobulinemia, a rare type of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which is treatable but incurable.

    "I'm too busy to dwell on it," said Ielpi, who rushes straight from chemotherapy treatments to his labor of love - the new WTC Tribute Center at Ground Zero, which he helped found.

    Ielpi's oncologist, Dr. Jonathan Kolitz, said "it's possible" the cancer was triggered by hundreds of hours of work on the hugely contaminated site.

    Ielpi was unaware until recently that 70 other WTC responders have come down with blood cancers, according to David Worby, a lawyer for 8,000 rescue and recovery workers.

    Friends are amazed at Ielpi's iron-like resilience, joking that he has more hair now than before starting his chemo.

    "I get a little tired, but it hasn't impacted me much so far," he said.

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    September 24, 2006 -- Condoleezza Rice's office gave final approval to the infamous Environmental Protection Agency press releases days after 9/11 claiming the air around Ground Zero was "safe to breathe," internal documents show.
    Now Secretary of State, Rice was then head of the National Security Council - "the final decision maker" on EPA statements about lower Manhattan air quality, the documents say.

    Scientists and lawmakers have since deemed the air rife with toxins.

    Early tests known to the EPA at the time had already found high asbestos levels, the notes say. But those results were omitted from the press releases because of "competing priorities" such as national security and "opening Wall Street," according to a report by the EPA's inspector general.

    The chief of staff for then-EPA head Christie Todd Whitman, Eileen McGinnis, told the inspector general of heated discussions, including "screaming telephone calls," about what to put in the press releases.

    The notes come from a 2003 probe into public assurances made on Sept. 16, five days after the 9/11 attacks. They tell how a White House staffer "worked with Dr. Condoleezza Rice's press secretary" on reviewing the press releases for weeks.

    Whitman said through a spokeswoman Friday that she never discussed her press releases directly with Rice. She also defended her collaboration with the White House.

    Now-retired Inspector General Nikki Tinsley told The Post her auditors tried to question the head of President Bush's Environmental Quality Council, but "he would not talk to us."

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris0871
    I wonder how many true American have to die before our government starts answering the real tough questions on what happened on 911 how 2 110 story building collapsed in under 10 secs and how all those floors turned to powder in that time if you think it was just first responders who were exposed to these toxins your in for a shock only time will tell but I believe the whole city of New York will be plagued by these toxins in the future then maybe just maybe we as Americans will make this government be held accountable .
    Please post your "conspiracy theory crap" somehere else. Anyone who is a firefighter and understands the rudimentary elements of building construction knows why the towers went down.
    ‎"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."
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    Quote Originally Posted by chris0871
    The basic law of gravity can prove that those buildings came down way to fast without some outside force to help bring them down .Any high school grade physics teacher can prove this theory .The general population has a hard time with any kind of critical thinking wake up people ...

    The governments theory about what happened that day sounds more to me like a conspiracy theory ..please look at the facts again this time through the eyes of who were there..........
    And the cow jumped over the moon.....
    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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    Quote Originally Posted by chris0871
    The basic law of gravity can prove that those buildings came down way to fast without some outside force to help bring them down .Any high school grade physics teacher can prove this theory .The general population has a hard time with any kind of critical thinking wake up people ...

    The governments theory about what happened that day sounds more to me like a conspiracy theory ..please look at the facts again this time through the eyes of who were there..

    http://video.google.com/videoplay?do...ysteries&hl=en
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    Thumbs down Like Gonzo said ....

    Quote Originally Posted by chris0871
    without some outside force to help bring them down
    HELLO, Chris??? HELLLLOOO?????? HELLLLLLLLLLLLOOOOOOOOOOOOOO?????

    Hmmmmmmmm I guess nobody's home.

    Hey Chris, newsflash for ya .... THERE WAS AN OUTSIDE FORCE!!!!!!!!!!!! Namely, two big-*** planes filled with jet fuel, flown by a bunch of terrorists bent on murdering hundreds of thousands of Americans.

    GO AWAY!
    September 11th - Never Forget

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    Quote Originally Posted by chris0871
    why is it no one has been questioned in an open forum on these matters ?
    Have you been under a rock for the past 5 years?

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    First all, let me "educate you"...

    The airspace around NYC is not the most "protected".

    That airspace is the ADIZ (Air Defense Identifcation Zone) that surrounds Washington, DC.

    When you crash an aircraft that is predominantly made of aluminum into a building or the ground at 450 to 550 knots with a very high fuel load (remember, all of these flights were headed to LA) the resulting fireball, burning at 3000+ Farenheit, and fueled by flammable furnishings such as paper, wood paneling, plastics, carpeting, etc. coupled with the fact that the melting point of aluminum is 1200 degrees Farenheit, there isn't going to be much left of any aircraft.

    Steel begins to elongate at 1000 degrees Farenheit and fails completely around 1300 to 1400, depending on the alloy.

    The structural steel, weakened by the impact of the collision and the fires, failed, causing the weight of each floor to collapse upon each other...what firefighters call a pancake collapase (and if you were a firefighter, you would have at least a rudimentary knowledge of buidling construction...)

    That, my "freind"... coupled with the actions of 19 murderous scumbags and Al Qaeda is what destroyed the Pentagon and the WTC.
    ‎"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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