A con­tin­u­ing toll

Help­ing those who rushed in to help on 9/11

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette - - Forum -

Nearly 3,000 peo­ple died on Sept. 11, 2001. But the toll from the tragedy con­tin­ues to grow daily.

As of March, 1,319 peo­ple have died from ex­po­sure to the toxic en­vi­ron­ment cre­ated by the col­lapse of the World Trade Cen­ter tow­ers.

By 2020, ex­perts pre­dict that the death toll from long-term ill­nesses linked to Ground Zero will sur­pass the num­ber of peo­ple who died on 9/11.

Un­for­tu­nately, many of those vic­tims have died with­out know­ing that there was med­i­cal sup­port and com­pen­sa­tion avail­able.

The World Trade Cen­ter Health Pro­gram pro­vides med­i­cal mon­i­tor­ing and treat­ment for 9/11-re­lated con­di­tions. The Septem­ber 11th Vic­tim Com­pen­sa­tion Fund was set up to pro­vide com­pen­sa­tion for in­di­vid­u­als in­jured on 9/11 or for fam­ily mem­bers of de­ceased in­di­vid­u­als af­fected by the ter­ror at­tack.

Many sur­viv­ing team mem­bers have not heard of the fed­eral aid. For New York City first re­spon­ders, the news has got­ten out. But it has been slow to be passed along to those from other states who helped, and that is a trav­esty that needs to be rec­ti­fied.

Many first re­spon­ders and vol­un­teers con­tinue to be af­fected by the events of Sept. 11, 2001. It is im­por­tant for them to know that they are not for­got­ten and that there is sup­port avail­able. We still owe them.

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