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  1. #1
    FIREMAN 1st GRADE E40FDNYL35's Avatar
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    Default Did you respond to WTC???

    Link Deaths of 3 Firemen, Cop To WTC Site; Health Officials Urge Screening, Offer Free Treatment
    The Uniformed Firefighters' Association announced Jan. 13 that two of its members and a Battalion Chief have died in recent months due to lung illnesses the union believes are linked to toxic exposures from Sept. 11 and its aftermath. The UFA's declaration came a week after the Detectives' Endowment Association said the death of retired Detective James Zadroga, 34, was tied to the 450 hours he spent at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

    Sudden Illnesses
    UFA Vice President James Slevin said the recent deaths of Firefighter Walter Voight, 55, Firefighter Stephen Johnson, 48, and Battalion Chief Joe Costello were unexpected and quick. All three men were involved in either the initial response or rescue and clean-up efforts at Ground Zero. Firefighter Voight and Firefighter Johnson were among the many Fire Department members who retired a few years after 9/11. Both left the FDNY in good health, on normal service pensions. "That's part of what makes their deaths such a cause for grave concern," Mr. Slevin said. "They retired in late 2003, early 2004, and then sickened and died within the span of a year. From what we've been told, their diseases progressed very rapidly." Mr. Slevin said doctors had advised the union that a rash of lung illnesses - Reactive Airway Distress Syndrome (RADS), asthma and others- would turn up among some members almost immediately, but cancer-related diseases would not start appearing for four to five years.

    'Worried We'll See More'
    "The union has been actively involved with the pension board and initially we did not see deaths, only disability cases," Mr. Slevin confirmed. "Now we are concerned that the doctors' timeline is right and that we will see a spike in cancerrelated deaths." Battalion Chief Costello also died of lung-related disease. He left active service in 2005 on a disability pension and died this month, according to the union. The FDNY has not confirmed any deaths among its members due to 9/11 exposures, but the UFA said it's unlikely the men had pre-existing conditions that weren't picked up by the comprehensive medical exam to get on the job, or the yearly qualifying physicals firefighters must pass to stay on the job. Autopsy results are still pending on Mr. Zadroga, but union leaders now consider him the sixth possible fatality among city workers who were at Ground Zero.

    Two EMTs Died
    Two Emergency Medical Technicians, both non-smokers, died last year from respiratory-related diseases. EMT Timothy Keller, 41 and EMT Felix Hernandez, 31, responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11. Mr. Keller's autopsy listed the cause of death as a heart attack linked to respiratory distress. The details of Mr. Hernandez's death haven't been released by the family, but he was on medical leave from the Fire Department for a lung-related illness. The city has not acknowledged the possibility that these first responders might have died as a result of their work at Ground Zero. Last week Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly, speaking to the press after a graduation ceremony which saw 1,121 new recruits inducted into the NYPD, admitted that "it is an issue that we probably have to come to grips with." Mr. Kelly declined to talk about what role the city should take in helping the families of first-responders who may have died as a result of 9-11 related diseases. "It's a big issue, and I don't think I'm prepared to make a statement now. It affects not only the Police Department, but other agencies as well. I think the determination of the cause of death is critical here," the Commissioner said. Meanwhile, private-and-public sector health officials are urging all workers who responded in any way to the Ground Zero site, either on 9/11 or in the following days and months, to sign up for free screening and monitoring examinations provided by the Mount Sinai Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine and other area occupational medicine providers, if they haven't already done so.

    Assistance Programs
    Listed below are a number of ongoing programs that were set up to help World Trade Center workers and volunteer-responders, including rescue and recovery emergency personnel, as well as those engaged in essential service restoration and debris removal and clean-up around Ground Zero and the FreshKills landfill on Staten Island. The Fire Department runs similar programs for its members, administered by the FDNY Bureau of Health Services that conducts ongoing medical health screenings of firefighters and Emergency Medical Service personnel. Members should contact the department if they haven't already to sign up for monitoring. The Mount Sinai World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program provides free, confidential medical monitoring examinations. WTC responders who participate in the program at Mount Sinai or with other area providers will receive comprehensive and confidential medical examinations at regular intervals. If you are then diagnosed with any physical or mental health problems, you may be referred to one of the adjunct area treatment programs also run by Mount Sinai.

    Who is Eligible?: You may be eligible if you were engaged in first-response, rescue and recovery, service restoration or any of the clean-up efforts at Ground Zero and related sites. If you've previously enrolled in the WTC Worker and Volunteer Medical Screening Program, your health can continue to be monitored under this program. How Do I Sign Up?: Call the Registration Hotline at 888-702-0630. If you've already signed up, but want to change your contact information, you can call the hotline or go online to www.wtc .exams.org.

    What's the Cost?: The program is free of charge.
    Manhattan: Mount Sinai - I. J. Selikoff Center for Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 10 East 101st St., 2nd Floor. Phone: (212) 241-155, Web site: http://www.mssm.edu/cpm/selikoff - clinical - center/ (Exams also conducted in Spanish and Polish);

    Bellevue Hospital Center/NYU School of Medicine Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, 462 First Avenue at 27th St., Phone: (212) 562-3849 (Exams also in Spanish).

    Queens: Center for the Biology of Natural Systems, Queens College, 163-03 Horace Harding Expressway. Phone: (718) 670-4216 (Exams also in Spanish).

    Suffolk County: The State University of New York, Stony Brook, Long Island Occupational and Environmental Health Center. Phone: (631) 6429100 Web site: http://www.lioehc.org.

    In Eastern Suffolk: 625 Belle Terre Road, Suite 207, Port Jefferson, NY 11777.

    In Western Suffolk: 3002 Expressway Drive North, Suite 200A, Islandia, NY 11749.

    Nassau County: Nassau University Medical Center Pulmonary and Critical Care Division, 2201 Hempstead Turnpike, Phone: (516) 572-8714.

    New Jersey-Piscataway: University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Environmental and Occupational Health Sciences Institute, 170 Frelinghuysen Road, Phone: (732) 445-0123 Ext. 601 Web site: http://www.eohsi.rutgers.edu/.

    Responders may also change where they want to have their exams by filling out a location change form or by calling 888-702-0630. The World Trade Center Health Effects Treatment Program was designed for workers and volunteers who have health problems caused or aggravated by their participation in WTC-related efforts. The program treats WTC-related sinus and breathing difficulties; WTC-related throat irritation; WTC-related feelings of sadness or depression; and WTC-related feelings of nervousness or anxiety.

    Who is Eligible?: You may be eligible if you were engaged in first-response, rescue and recovery, service restoration or any of the clean-up efforts at Ground Zero and other WTC-related sites.

    What Kind of Treatments Can I Expect?: The program provides diagnostic and ongoing medical treatment services for WTC-related medical conditions. The physicians are specifically trained in the identification and treatment of workrelated illnesses.

    The program can also help you apply for a range of benefits and entitlements, get financial assistance for medication and, if you are eligible, apply for health insurance if currently uninsured.

    What's the Cost?: No out-of-pocket charges for WTC-related conditions. If you need outside testing or referrals that can't be conducted at the clinic, the Health Effects Treatment Program staff will help you arrange for payment.

    How Do I Sign Up?: The program has offices in Manhattan, Queens and Yonkers. Call any of these numbers: Manhattan: (212) 241-9059, Queens: (718) 278-2736, Yonkers: (914) 964-4737.

    Similar treatment programs given in concert with other area occupational medicine centers also providing medical monitoring examinations.

    The Mount Sinai World Trade Center Mental Health and Screening Intervention Program is designed to help people cope with the psychological effects of 9/11 and the stress that can come from being diagnosed with an illness, or fearing that you might be.

    Who is Eligible?: You may be eligible if you were engaged in first-response, rescue and recovery or any of the clean up effort at Ground Zero and other WTCrelated sites. This program is staffed with psychiatrists and social workers who, aside from offering counseling services, can also help people get the necessary paperwork to file Workers' Compensation claims, authorize medications and treatments and assist with the filing of documentation for Social Security and other benefits. There is no out-of-pocket charge for WTC-related conditions. How Do I Sign Up?: The best way is to go through the Mount Sinai World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program, but you can also call the program directly at (212) 241-8462.

    Mount Sinai also has programs available for WTC-affected area residents and workers who had to work in the area in contaminated offices, and residents who live in the affected area. Services offered through the center as well as at other New York State Network of Occupational Health Clinics can be reached by calling Mount Sinai at (212) 241-5555. For a list of other providers, call (800) 458-1158 or go online to http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh...n/occupate.htm.
    Last edited by E40FDNYL35; 01-17-2006 at 03:00 PM.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
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  2. #2
    Forum Member DeputyChiefGonzo's Avatar
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    Ray... that is a great post and may help save a life or two.
    ‎"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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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Thanks Ray!

    Our dept. chaplin was at the WTC, about a month after the attack. He was on the pile with the workers and gave last rights to one of the brothers. He's a great guy and after reading the first reports, Im really worried about him.

    Ill certainly pass this info along.
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    It makes me sick to see how NY ****ty is treating these emergency personell. Mayor Bloomturd is gonna be held accountable one day for his lack of action. I hope the Ginley family holds him accountable. I'm ****ed-no more from me.

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    Is this geared twoards members present during the intiall response and less than 2 weeks?

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    MembersZone Subscriber CJMinick390's Avatar
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    Unfortunately, I'm not surprised by this. The guys who were on the site after the collapses were working in an atmosphere of high concentrations of very fine dust. I'm guessing that they were subjected to the same conditions that coal miners call "black lung" and hard rock miners call silacosis (spelling?). They got an exposure in days that miners see in years. Not to mention the witch's brew of metylethyl bads**t that was in the smoke from the fires. I wasn't there myself, but I know a number of people who were, and I'm concerned for them.

    There was a chemical fire in Chester, PA (outside of Philadelphia) back in the 70's if I remember correctly. A well documented "cancer cluster" occured within the firefighters that responded to that incident. I'm afraid the same is going to happen with the emergency workers of all types who worked the WTC site, and probably the Pentagon as well, to a lesser extent. I hope and pray that I am wrong.
    Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
    Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1

    These statements are mine and mine alone
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    MembersZone Subscriber MattyS's Avatar
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    40/35 ...you always impress the **** out of me with your dedication to quality posts helping others out...wether from info like this, or updates on situations....keep up the good work, man.

  8. #8
    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CJMinick390
    There was a chemical fire in Chester, PA (outside of Philadelphia) back in the 70's if I remember correctly. A well documented "cancer cluster" occured within the firefighters that responded to that incident.
    Same thing in Ft. Lauderdale. There is concern that we are starting to see the same thing here local (not my dept.), from a chlorine fire in the early '80s.
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  9. #9
    FIREMAN 1st GRADE E40FDNYL35's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MattyS
    .......dedication to quality posts helping others out...wether from info like this, or updates on situations....keep up the good work, man.
    Thanks Matty it's all about the BROTHERHOOD
    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

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

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    DAVE1983: Jone's chemical fire in St Pete? Am I missing something?

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    Didn't a similar thing happen with FDNY firefighters when the NYC telephone exchange went up in the era when BA wasnt compulsory ?

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    Forum Member Dave1983's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wag11c
    DAVE1983: Jone's chemical fire in St Pete? Am I missing something?

    Thats the one. I had just heard that a couple of the brothers that were there had developed cancer and people are starting to wonder. Dont know any more then that. As for the fire, I beive it was just before I started on the job, but Ive heard over the years that it was big time nasty.
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    Forum Member VinnieB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rumbleau
    Didn't a similar thing happen with FDNY firefighters when the NYC telephone exchange went up in the era when BA wasnt compulsory ?
    Yeah.....most if not all of the 1st due are dead from Cancer......but I don't think we knew as much about the toxins then as we do now.

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    Yeah quite true. You never know what the hell is in burning substances these days. Thank god for BA sets.

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    In 1980, there was an explosion and fire at the Chemical Control Corp. in Elizabeth, NJ. This was an (essentially) abandoned hazardous waste site with literally tens of thousands of drums and cylinders. The fire burned for days. There were pictures in the papers showing FF wading through pools of contaminated water with no SCBA.

    http://www.epa.gov/region02/superfund/npl/0200037c.pdf#search='Chemical% 20Control%20fire'

    There was a similar cancer cluster in the FF from this job, as well.

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    Forum Member MIKEYLIKESIT's Avatar
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    I seem to recall an underground telephone or electrical vault fire in NYC ,circa mid-70's. A lot of sick firemen from PCB's.
    IAFF-IACOJ PROUD

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    Default 'World Trade Center Cough'

    January 11, 2006 -- There is more evidence that the number of people sick with 9/11 related illnesses is growing dramatically. So much so - there's a name for it -- "the World Trade Center cough". And there is a waiting list for victims seeking medical help. It's similar to what may have killed NYPD Officer James Zadroga who spent hundreds of hours at ground zero. His funeral was yesterday. It is a warning sign of what's to come: more and more people seeking help for deteriorating lung problems and chronic coughs linked to their work at ground zero. The numbers appear to be growing and the long term diagnosis is not good. Dr. Robin Herbert: "There is a certain core group of people who have become very ill as result of their World Trade Center exposure and aren't getting any better." That core group, according to the co-director of Mt. Sinai's World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program, is estimated to be in the hundreds and growing. Dr. Herbert, Mt. Sinai Hospital: "We have a three to four month waiting period for new patients to come into our treatment program because the demand is so tremendous."
    John Graham: "My lungs are burnt from the concrete dust."

    John Graham is not getting any better.

    John: "I have a severe breathing problem ... the tests are clear I had no breathing problem before 9/11."

    As a carpenter, he helped in the clean-up at ground zero for months breathing in the toxic mix of fumes he says destroyed his lungs and made it impossible for him to work.

    His fear now is a battery of powerful drugs will eventually fail to keep him alive.

    John: "Every breath I take hurts that much more it's exhausting."

    Marie Pellegrino: "His health went downhill starting with that cough, and that cough started at ground zero."

    Chris Pellegrino worked for months as a cable installer at ground zero, months of breathing in poisonous smoke and dust. He developed "the World Trade Center cough," his lungs disintegrated, he lost his job. When he died at age 42, he looked nearly as old as his mother.

    Marie Pellegrino, mother: "If I could change places with him I would have."

    The NYPD said goodbye to one of its detectives yesterday. His friends and family believe "the World Trade Center cough" killed him at age 34. And last summer, an Eyewitness News investigation broke the story on the death of a 41-year-old FDNY medic from the killer cough. Mt. Sinai is currently treating 1,600 people with similar symptoms, and hundreds more are on a awaiting list. With that list growing, the government has yet to spend a dime on medical treatment. Dr. Herbert: "To date at this point there's been no public funding available to provide treatment for WTC responders with illness and it's really a sad and terrible situation." There is some hope that Congress will set aside some funds for the treatment of those with World Trade Center illness, but more than four years after 9/11, they're still trying to work it out.
    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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    As their brothers die, firefighters seek answers
    By Susan Q. Stranahan
    and Larry King
    INQUIRER STAFF WRITERS



    A chill wind ruffled the flowers piled atop a shiny red fire engine as it turned slowly into Valley Forge Memorial Gardens around noon on April 28, 1982. Behind it, a cortege of mourners stretched for miles.

    At the grave site, blue-uniformed firefighters from Chester and dozens of other communities formed ranks around the flag-covered pine coffin of a man being honored, with every full-dress flourish, as a hero.

    His comrades would have it no other way.

    Chester Fire Capt. Marvin Cherry, they believed, had paid the ultimate price for fighting the chemical inferno at the Wade dump.

    For eight hours on Feb. 3, 1978, Cherry had stationed himself on the poisoned lot, first to tamp down the dying flames, then to pull equipment from smoldering mounds of debris. He was called back twice, when fires flared again.

    At the time, he had seemed an iron man, lean and fit. And now, at 40, he was dead of lung cancer.

    "In our eyes and hearts," recalled firefighter Bill Suter, "it was a line-of-duty death."

    They buried him with full departmental honors. Fire Chief James McDonald presented the folded American flag to Cherry's widow, Joan. Fellow captain Vincent "Moose" McLaughlin and Suter gave Cherry's badge to his three young children. A 21-gun salute and "Taps" filled the air.

    McLaughlin had planned this funeral for his buddy. With Suter and some others, he had seen to every detail.

    "We had never done all this before," said Suter, who kept careful notes of the arrangements.

    That was a good thing. They would be needed again.


    An about-face
    No one who had worked the Wade fire was keeping count yet, but Marv Cherry was the 10th among them to fall seriously ill. He was the fourth, and youngest, to die of lung cancer.
    Until Cherry went down, only the neighbors of the dump had made a public stink about what millions of gallons of burned chemicals might one day do to their health.

    Chester's firefighters certainly hadn't. When federal researchers passed out health surveys to those who had fought the Wade blaze, many refused to take part.

    Union officials found the eight pages of questions intrusive and warned that the city might someday use the firemen's medical histories against them in benefits disputes.

    "The union advised us not to fill them out," recalled former firefighter Ronald Stevens, who would have kidney cancer by 1993.

    Even Chief McDonald, a platoon captain at the Wade fire, saw little reason to worry about ill effects. "I think the men were adequately prepared," he said.

    In the end, only 35 firefighters bothered to complete the health surveys. That gave CDC one more reason to conclude that its work in Chester was "of limited value."

    But by the middle of 1983, the mood around the firehouses of Chester had changed. The men - along with their union - were pleading with CDC to come back.

    Heading the effort was McDonald. "Too many young fellows," he said, "are coming down with diseases that they should not be coming down with."

    Himself, for instance.

    McDonald was 49 when crippling pains shot through his legs in May 1980. His veins were diseased, blocking blood flow. Surgeons performed a bypass on the leg vessels but could not save two gangrenous toes. A year later, vessels clogged again, requiring another bypass.

    The same vascular condition had hit firefighter Curtis Weigand, 47, a year before McDonald. He, too, required surgery.

    Both men were diabetic and therefore prone to circulatory problems. But Cherry's death set them to worrying that somehow, the Wade fire also was to blame.

    That vague anxiety spread through the ranks and, by July 14, 1983, was verging on panic. McDonald went before the City Council to ask that CDC be called back - and soon, for there was more bad news.

    Moose McLaughlin had cancer.


    A call at night
    He first felt the pain beneath his right shoulder blade in early 1983. McLaughlin shrugged it off as a pulled muscle.

    "Jude! Do we have any Ben-Gay?" he'd holler after work as he rummaged for his Bermuda shorts and a Budweiser. Judy McLaughlin, a licensed practical nurse, would find the ointment and rub it over her husband's broad back.

    Aching muscles were nothing special to a Chester firefighter who responded to about 500 calls a year. But after three months of massages, Judy resorted to nagging.

    "You better go see the doctor," she kept saying. "Somebody doesn't have a pulled muscle for three months."

    His stock answer: "Well, I keep aggravating it."

    After 21 years, she knew his stubborn streak. And that she loved him fiercely.

    They had met at a wedding rehearsal in February 1962. She was maid of honor, engaged to a Navy officer but, that night, irresistibly drawn to the best man.

    "The first time I saw him, I knew," she said. "Here was this big, 6-foot-2, 210-pound hunk. He had black, wavy hair and beautiful blue eyes. He had a smile that melted you; you couldn't help it."

    After the rehearsal, he asked her out for a beer.

    "I'm engaged," she said.

    "I didn't ask you that. I asked if you wanted to get a beer."

    They went to Vesuvio's, a little place on West Ninth Street in Chester, and ate pizza. She saw kindness in his eyes, an easiness in his manner.

    That night, at home, she pulled the ring from her finger and put it away in a box. Judy and Moose were married eight months later.

    Baby Kelly Ann came along in December 1963, then Patty in 1970, the year their father joined the Chester Fire Department.

    Even as a captain, Moose didn't make much more than $500 a week. He drank cheap beer and Judy drank Thunderbird. They rode around in clunkers, vacationed in campgrounds with Jim and Connie McDonald in a 17-foot hardtop trailer, and, when the girls were little, splashed in a plastic pool behind their narrow, two-story house on an Upland cul-de-sac. They dreamed of retiring near the beaches and fishing boats of Delaware. Moose's 20 years with the Fire Department would be up in 1990.

    He had seven years to go when the back pain started. In June 1983, Moose finally visited his doctor, Luke Cellini, who ordered an X-ray.

    At nine that night, the McLaughlins' phone rang.

    Cellini wanted them in his office the next morning. The doctor and the patient were old friends, but Moose didn't ask for details. It was as if he knew, his wife recalled.

    "Jude, this is not good," he said, hanging up.

    "It's from that goddamn fire."


    Cancer, and spreading
    The X-rays showed a growth near the right side of his throat. The diagnosis was follicular cell cancer of the thyroid.

    It rarely kills; more than 95 percent of thyroid cancer patients live at least five years after diagnosis.

    But Moose McLaughlin's cancer was spreading fast. When he entered Crozer-Chester Medical Center in early July 1983, it already was in his lungs and bone marrow.

    Judy retreated into denial. "This just cannot happen to him," she remembered thinking. "They're wrong, the tests were wrong."

    As for the affable Moose, he flew into private rages, centered mostly on the Wade dump and the city that had failed to warn him.

    "He just lashed out at everybody," Judy said. "He was sorry he was ever a firefighter. He was sorry he was ever on that night. He just was angry."

    The others who had fought the Wade blaze weren't mad so much as terrified. A week after McLaughlin was diagnosed, Chief McDonald carried that fear to the Chester city fathers, who agreed to call CDC.

    "This is an Agent Orange situation," declared Mayor Joseph Battle, who had been city solicitor when the dump burned.

    The local union called its parent in Washington, the International Association of Fire Fighters, which also pushed for a study, as did the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Resources.

    On Aug. 16, two epidemiologists arrived in Chester from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, an arm of CDC. Paul Schulte and Richard Ehrenberg had only one day in which to chat up the politicians, tour the Wade lot, debrief a handful of firefighters, and distribute health questionnaires.

    Waiting at the firehouse to meet them was McLaughlin, clad in a knit pullover instead of his white captain's shirt. Only three weeks earlier, doctors at Crozer had removed his thyroid.

    As the NIOSH experts began their rounds, Lt. Richard McGinn, who had been on the front lines during the worst of the Wade blaze, looked on anxiously.

    "We're all scared," said McGinn, who would die of colon cancer nine years later. "Some of the guys might not show it, but believe me, they're scared."

    And not just by Cherry's death and McLaughlin's disease. The firefighters had done some homework for NIOSH – and found four other men who had been diagnosed with cancer after working the fire.

    There was Police Detective Richard Jones, who in 1979, at 43, had been treated for a melanoma on his left foot. The hulking cop known as "Big Red," who played Santa Claus at Christmas parties, pulling up on a motorcycle, had patrolled the dump at 1 Flower Street in the days after the fire and watched his shoes disintegrate.

    There was firefighter John "Junior" Francis, 55, who underwent surgeries in 1978 for cancer of the larynx and a melanoma on the sole of his right foot. He had since resumed his fourth decade at the firehouse, where he was revered for his specialties: meatballs, and sausage and zucchini.

    In 1980, paramedic supervisor Bill Richard, at the Wade fire about 16 hours, had been stricken with Hodgkin's disease at age 29.

    That sent Richard spiraling down. Long absences dashed his dream of running the Crozer-Chester emergency squad. Then he and his wife lost their first child. Stunned, they moved to Florida, where, instead of heading an EMS department, "I was cleaning out Dumpsters."

    Also on the list was Upland volunteer George Reilly, who, at 60, had been one of the oldest firefighters at the Wade blaze. Diagnosed with lung cancer on Halloween 1980, he died 10 weeks later. Known as a man who enjoyed a party, Reilly had been in good health until he went to the doctor complaining of a nagging cough and sore neck.

    Realizing that dozens of volunteers, like Reilly, had come to the blaze from fire companies beyond Chester, county fire marshal George Lewis began calling area chiefs, asking for names of all who had been there.

    This time, more than 100 men filled out questionnaires.

    The NIOSH visit generated enough ink in local newspapers that McDonald and Lewis also got inquiries from outside the ranks.

    A former junior firefighter wrote: "I was handing out sandwiches to the firefighters. I was 16 at the time. . . . I had a rash all over my body [and] they put me on a oxygen machine. . . . I would appreciate anything you could do for me."

    The word even spread to the state prison cell blocks in Dallas, Pa., where one John "Pinhead" Pauze, a Warlocks motorcycle gang member, was doing time for beating up two newspaper reporters and threatening to cut off a girl's ear. In a letter to McDonald, Pauze wrote that he had "frequented" Wade's dump in 1976 and once became ill when he watched 55-gallon drums being spilled onto the ground.

    "It wasn't until about a half-hour after I left that I was able to breathe normally again," he wrote. "Now, for the past three years, I have experienced increased respiratory problems, and I am only 31 years of age."

    NIOSH told Pauze to take it up first with his prison doctors.

    The epidemiologists had come to Chester with plenty of doubts. It was improbable, they said, that a single chemical exposure, however massive, could bring on that range of cancers. Besides, as Schulte later noted, "cancers from chemicals just don't happen that fast."

    They didn't waver from that view in their report, released a year later, in August 1984.

    Schulte and Ehrenberg called the six reported cancers a "statistically significant excess" - in fact, three times the expected number. They refused, however, to blame the fire.

    They recommended nothing beyond routine physical checkups for the Wade veterans and suggested that the city find a system for alerting firefighters to toxins in the area. To those who had hoped NIOSH would trace their illnesses to the dump fire, the report added, "this may be of little comfort."

    Even more unsettling to the firefighters was this passage: "Whether they may in the future be at an additional risk of cancer cannot be determined."

    Voicing the frustration in the ranks after a year of waiting, Fire Capt. Robert Friend said, "This report basically proves little or nothing to me."

    It also was incomplete. The researchers' "statistical excess" would have been even greater had they known of all the sick or dead. Uncounted in their study were seven other cancer victims: two volunteer firefighters, two police officers, two Streets Department employees who spread salt and moved barrels at the fire, and a mail carrier whose daily route included the dump. When the report came out, three were already dead.

    NIOSH had limited its study to cancer, but other serious illnesses were also besetting the group.

    Gary McClelland, for instance, had fought the Wade fire as a teen volunteer and had suffered frostbite after falling into a pit of chemicals. He was serving in the Marines when, at 23, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 1984.

    Firefighter Rudy Hollis was another casualty. He had already lost his job, to city budget cuts, when his abdomen started swelling in 1983. At his girlfriend's apartment one day, he fainted and nearly crashed through a second-story window. Doctors discovered his kidneys were failing and put Hollis, then 33, on dialysis. He was a rookie when he fell inside the burning Wade warehouse and had to be pulled from a pool of chemicals by his captain, Moose McLaughlin.

    By the time the NIOSH report came out, McLaughlin could barely drag himself to work.

    He had returned to firefighting in September 1983, but radiation and chemotherapy left him sick and weak. The black, wavy hair that his wife so loved was falling away.

    He worked despite stabbing pains in his chest and back that, he said, "hurt like hell."

    The thought of staying home was worse.

    "If he didn't work," his wife explained, "he wasn't a man."

  19. #19
    Forum Member xolotl's Avatar
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    The entire report the above article is from is worth a read.

  20. #20
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    February 19, 2006 -- Doctors tracking 9/11 rescue and recovery workers are studying whether the toxic air at the World Trade Center caused not only lung disease and possibly cancer — but also heart attacks, The Post has learned. The death toll of the Ground Zero heroes — firefighters, cops, EMTs, construction workers, immigrant laborers and others — is climbing, and a growing number are dying of heart attacks and cardiovascular disease.
    Researchers who have studied Ground Zero air samples — initially called "safe" by the EPA — are not surprised at illnesses surfacing in many who worked without respirators or safety suits at the hugely hazardous site. "These people have been screwed," said Thomas Cahill, a scientist at the University of California-Davis who has studied the finely pulverized airborne poisons that WTC workers "inhaled deep into the lungs" for months. "They're as much victims of 9/11 as those killed in the buildings." Doctors monitoring 13,000 WTC workers are investigating a possible link between the heart problems and the respiratory ailments so common among the tens of thousands of Ground Zero workers and nearby residents. "There is an increased risk of heart problems from lung disease," said Dr. Stephen Levin, of the WTC medical monitoring program at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in Manhattan. "There is also evidence that people exposed to micro-fine particles —which was certainly the case at the World Trade Center — are at increased risk for heart disease." Researchers will soon consult top cardiologists on possible blood tests to detect the hidden danger, Levin told The Post. The new focus comes two weeks after James Doyle, 54, a retired transit worker from Staten Island, died of a heart attack. Active and athletic before 9/11, Doyle developed lung disease after weeks of digging at Ground Zero and had to use an oxygen pump. Last month, Kevin Lee, 31, a seemingly healthy NYPD cop, collapsed and died while chasing a suspect, raising questions about the effects of his many hours at Ground Zero. And last June, Tim Keller, 41, an FDNY emergency medical technician and father of four, died of a heart attack after going on disability for post-9/11 asthma, bronchitis and pulmonary emphysema. "By the end, he couldn't walk two steps without taking a breath," said his son David, 19. "One day, he just went — his lungs stopped pumping enough blood into his heart." Doctors told the family Keller's death was "directly related to his days of search and rescue down at Ground Zero," the son said. David Worby, a lawyer representing 6,000 WTC workers in a class-action lawsuit, said about six men in their 30s or 40s with no family history of coronary disease have died of heart attacks so far. "Hundreds more will die prematurely," he predicted. "This is scratching the surface of all the diseases linked to these toxic exposures that people must be tested for and treated." So far, at least 24 of the 6,000 workers have died from inhaling, ingesting or absorbing WTC dust and fumes — rife with thousands of pounds of pulverized mercury, lead, asbestos, dioxin, benzene, cadmium and PCBs, the suit argues. The dead include men in their 30s, 40s and 50s from cancers of the esophagus, throat, pancreas, and kidney, Worby said. Such cancers normally take years longer to develop, but Worby contends they struck sooner because of a "synergistic effect" of the deadly toxins — a theory Levin said is under study. Others have died or suffer from lymphoma and leukemia — blood cancers that can develop several years after exposure to toxins. After working 12-hour days for three months, digging for body parts and doing security at Ground Zero, NYPD detective Ernie Vallebuona, 40, is fighting lymphoma. Since a recurrence, he has undergone a second round of chemotherapy and blood stem-cell transplants — and will learn this week whether it worked. Weakness and fatigue after 9/11 — "I couldn't pull my kids in a wagon to the beach" — led doctors to discover a large mass in his abdomen. The disabled vice cop, bald from the treatment and on many medications, is so vulnerable to deadly infection he can't eat out or play with his two sons. He couldn't root for them at the recent Boy Scout Pinewood Derby because of the crowd. "It breaks my heart," Vallebuona said. "I'm just holed up in the house. I feel like such a lump." Fellow detective Rich Volpe, 38, "spit up blood and black stuff from my lungs for months" during 12-hour shifts at Ground Zero and the Fresh Kills landfill. Volpe was diagnosed with kidney disease in 2002, and has lost 50 percent of function in both kidneys. He will eventually need a transplant to survive. Doctors have told the bachelor he may never have kids. Speaking between loud gasps and coughs, ironworker John Sferazo, 50, recalled inhaling "green gases" bubbling up from Ground Zero for 30 days after the terror attacks. "There were times I couldn't wear any type of respiratory protection because the air was so bad you had to inhale whatever you could to try and pull some oxygen out of it," he said Sferazo, a father of three, has lost a third of his lung capacity. Last week he attended the funeral of a fellow Local 361 worker and Ground Zero partner, Michael Kendrick, who died of lung cancer. "I saw his daughter kiss his corpse goodbye. It was tragic," he said. While "cancer is a continuing concern," among firefighters, cancer and heart attacks have not risen above normal since the terror attacks, said Dr. Kerry Kelly, the FDNY's chief medical officer. She did not give numbers.

    But more than 2,000 Bravest have suffered pulmonary problems, including 500 forced to retire on disability, she said.
    ALL GAVE SOME BUT SOME GAVE ALL
    NEVER FORGET 9-11-01
    343
    CAPT. Frank Callahan Ladder 35 *
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    Charleston 9
    "If my job was easy a cop would be doing it."
    *******************CLICK HERE*****************

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