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Thread: A Fallen Hero - Video Inside

  1. #541
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Sept. 11 First Responders to Visit W.Va. School

    Posted: October 21, 2008

    BUCKHANNON, W.Va. – John Feal, founding president of the FealGood Foundation and a demolition expert who worked at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, will bring his message to Upshur County students and residents on Friday, Oct. 24. Feal and up to seven other first responders will meet with students at Buchannon Upshur High School beginning at 8:30 a.m. The group will meet with the community later in the day.

    Feal, like 70 percent of 9/11 workers, suffers from post-9/11 illnesses. One of his feet had to be amputated after being crushed by an eight-ton steel beam. He also suffers from a respiratory syndrome called World Trade Center Cough and posttraumatic stress disorder.

    Feal agreed to visit West Virginia after some Buckhannon-Upshur High School students contacted him via e-mail after watching a documentary in health educator Mateal Poling’s class. The documentary, Save the Brave, chronicles the daily struggles of 9/11 Ground Zero workers in the seven years since the attacks. Greg Quibell, one of the men featured, died of his injuries the day before the film’s premiere in New York.

    “You have no idea how excited they were when Feal replied -- me too,” Poling said. “It is hard to imagine that these kids were only first and second graders on 9/11, but thanks to Feal’s efforts, our students are starting to have a better understanding of the profound effects of that day.”

    Feal said he is “humbled and honored to meet such amazing Americans.”

    “They are a reflection of the teacher who has taught them well,” Feal said. “Your resolve and testament is what makes great future leaders of this country. We look forward to coming to the great state of West Virginia to share our stories and tell of the thousands that need our help.”

    The FealGood Foundation’s primary mission, according to its Web site “is to spread awareness and educate the public about the catastrophic health effects on 9/11 first responders, as well as to provide assistance to relieve these great heroes of the financial burdens placed on them over the last five years.” The foundation also works to create a network of advocacy on 9/11 healthcare issues.

    For more information, contact Mateal Poling or Mikaela Poling at (304) 472-2155 or by e-mail at The FealGood Foundation’s Web site is
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  2. #542
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    Jan 2005
    Logistics Health blames feds for delays in aid to 9/11 responders


    LA CROSSE — Officials with Logistics Health Inc. on Monday blamed the federal government for delays in implementing a program to provide health care for responders to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

    Company officials, including former U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, responded angrily Monday to a Wisconsin State Journal story that raised questions about Logistics Health's performance on an $11 million one-year contract with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), an agency that Thompson once headed.

    The story quoted critics as saying that reimbursement for health-care costs and regular medical monitoring for more than 4,000 people enrolled in the program had lagged for months after the La Crosse-based company began handling the contract in July. Thompson, who is president of LHI, and other company officials had declined to talk about the contract before the story was published. It calls for LHI to provide health care and regular health monitoring exams to ailing 9/11 responders who live outside the New York City area.

    In interviews with the State Journal and the La Crosse Tribune, Thompson and LHI officials insisted they were ready to care for the ailing responders "immediately" but that NIOSH had thrown up roadblocks. The company had declined to comment about the contract prior to the story's publication, saying a provision in the pact prohibited them from speaking to the press. However, NIOSH spokesman Fred Blosser provided the contract language, which required that the company get NIOSH approval before releasing any statistical information about the program.

    Logistics Health chairman and CEO Don Weber said the company has decided to speak out. "I'm sick of being punched around and not being able to come back and say, 'Wait a minute.' Working with NIOSH has been very difficult. ... It's time we're taking a stand."

    Weber and Thompson both insisted that Thompson had nothing to do with the federal contract being awarded to LHI. Thompson also chalked up delays in the 9/11 responder contract to NIOSH, not Logistics Health.

    "NIOSH told us not to send out any letters (to enroll responders)," Thompson said. "That's what got screwed up — not LHI. They (NIOSH) are an agency that has serious problems."

    Blosser said he's aware of a one-month delay that occurred after his agency asked LHI which consent form it planned to send out to responders.

    "In August, our staff contacted LHI to say that we wanted to make sure that the enrollment form that LHI proposed to include in the information packet for responders was the correct and appropriate form for the purpose. Subsequently we learned that LHI had held off sending the packets after getting that message," Blosser said. "The packets then went out. The time lapsed was about one month."

    LHI said it also ran into problems getting accurate contact information for the responders. So far, 3,019 of the 4,200 have been reached, officials said.

    "A lot of the information was inaccurate," Weber said. "No address, no phone number."

    Thompson also said once patients were enrolled, the company worked quickly to respond to their medical needs. He called LHI the "best in the business" at providing health care to large targeted populations. He called coverage of the contract delays "unfair."
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  3. #543
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    Jan 2005
    Fassel Foundation donates $250K to 9/11 groups


    Jim Fassel watched from the roof of Giants Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey as the Twin Towers in lower Manhattan collapsed in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Fassel, who was head coach of the Giants in 2001, and the team visited the site a week later to support the first responders.

    “When I walked through the rubble of Ground Zero,” Fassel said. “I pledged that I’d never forget the events of the day and I’d do what I could to help the people affected by it.”

    This week, Fassel — now an NFL analyst for Westwood One Radio and ESPN — continued to follow up on his pledge. His Jim Fassel Foundation, which was established in 2002 and has raised more than $1.1 million, contributed $250,000 to five organizations representing first responders, health providers and 9/11-related charities. The donation, the Fassel Foundation’s largest one-time contribution to date, was made at the World Trade Center Tribute Center in lower Manhattan.

    “We have achieved an important milestone, surpassing $1 million in funds raised,” Fassel said. “After seven years, many may not realize that the 9/11 tragedy continues to cause considerable pain, hardship and illness, which is why it is so essential that we find ways to keep the needs of those affected in the public eye because they will continue to require our support for some time.”
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  4. #544
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    New health secretary Daschle must do the right thing for sick 9/11 responders

    Friday, December 12th 2008, 4:00 AM

    In a noteworthy coincidence, President-elect Barack Obama announced his nominee for Health and Human Services secretary the day after a judge set the first trial date for lawsuits by sickened 9/11 rescue and recovery workers.

    The juxtaposition was a reminder of how miserably the Bush administration failed men and women who became ill because they responded to Ground Zero. It is a national shame that the sick still fight for medical care and are forced through the wringer of the courts to pursue compensation.

    Those are sorry legacies of President Bush and his unrepentantly stonewalling man at HHS, Michael Leavitt. The Obama team, soon to be led by Tom Daschle, must do far better. He must be the secretary who remembers the Forgotten Victims of 9/11.

    New York's congressional delegation, including Reps. Carolyn Maloney, Jerry Nadler, Pete King and the now-disgraced Vito Fossella, came within a hair of getting an $11 billion treatment and compensation plan to a vote in the House in September.

    The measure was flawed in that it would have forced the city to bear an outsized share of the burden. But its foundations were sound. They included establishing a nationwide program for monitoring and treating workers and reopening the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund.

    The fund provided payments to survivors of people killed on 9/11 as well as to people injured that day. It closed before thousands of responders developed symptoms of lung damage and other illnesses.

    Reopening the fund would eliminate the time-consuming and hugely expensive process of working potentially 10,000 lawsuits through federal court - while unjustly threatening to bankrupt the contractors who executed the post-9/11 cleanup.

    Judge Alvin Hellerstein set the first trials for 2010. These suits should not have been necessary. And Daschle should take the lead in making sure there is no reason to carry them out.

    If the incoming secretary needs a tutorial on the issues, he need only look to the most senior member of the cabinet of which he will be a part - Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who began fighting for the rescue and recovery workers while Ground Zero was a pile of twisted steel.

    Let the battle now be won.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  5. #545
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    Jan 2005
    Clinic for 9/11 responders opens
    West Brighton facility run by Richmond University Medical Center and Mount Sinai Medical Center

    Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A clinic for World Trade Center first-responders was formally opened in West Brighton yesterday, a joint venture between Richmond University Medical Center and Mount Sinai Medical Center, Manhattan, where some 1,400 Staten Islanders already have sought treatment for illnesses related to exposure to toxins and depression.

    Proponents of the facility here -- including two Manhattan members of Congress instrumental in its funding -- highlighted the importance of Island residents being able to seek a compatible array of comprehensive services in their home borough.

    Medical care, along with a mental health component, and social work services, including benefits information, will be offered five days a week in the 4,200-square-foot facility at 690 Castleton Ave., across the street from RUMC.

    Mount Sinai's Dr. Jacqueline Moline, who oversees WTC clinic services, said there are likely an additional 700 Staten Island World Trade Center first-responders who could benefit from treatment.

    All they need to do is call 1-888-702-0630.

    She said the services are free and confidential.

    Dr. Moline said patients have sought treatment for respiratory ailments, including sinus trouble, asthma and heartburn, that have caused a reduction in their physical abilities. They have also received help with depression, including post traumatic stress disorder.

    Dr. Moline said some $300 million in funding for services in four clinics throughout the city is from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

    But she called maintaining funding levels "a constant challenge," and Democratic Reps. Carolyn Maloney and Jerrold Nadler charged yesterday that the Bush administration continues to thwart the flow of dollars.

    The cost to open and maintain the clinic here, which has a one-year lease, could not be immediately learned from hospital officials.

    Among those on hand to lend support were Councilman Michael McMahon (D-North Shore), the congressman-elect, and Assemblyman Michael Cusick (D-Mid-Island).

    Said McMahon: "This brings a neighborhood perspective to the national fight for further funding."

    Judy L. Randall is a news reporter for the Advance. She may be reached at
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  6. #546
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    9/11 Still Producing FDNY Casualties$62175


    John Schroeder lost everything on 9/11 - and now it's cost him his job as well.

    As a hose man for Engine Co. 10, Schroeder was one of the first firefighters to respond to both the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, reaching the 23rd floor of the north tower during the latter catastrophe.

    "I saw more people die that day than anyone can imagine," he told The Post.

    Afterward, he struggled to cope with the staggering loss of 55 friends and colleagues. "I turned to the drink, the whole department did," he said.

    Now Schroeder, 49, is one of several scarred firefighters fighting to keep their pensions because of failed drug tests, caught between the sympathy of their colleagues and the zero-tolerance policy of the Fire Department.

    Schroeder tested positive for cocaine during a random FDNY drug sweep on Oct. 24, 2004. He denies using cocaine and claims he's been sober for more than a year. His lawyers argue he's a victim of a flawed test.

    The department moved to fire Schroeder through a disciplinary hearing. In a highly unusual ruling, an administrative-law judge in August 2007 recommended that the 18-year veteran be allowed to retire with dignity.

    Judge Kevin Casey didn't comment on the drug-test results but suggested the FDNY allow the decorated firefighter to complete his application for a disability pension. That way, Casey said, Schroeder, who suffers from lung disease that he believes came from breathing toxic Ground Zero air, could keep his health benefits.

    At almost the same time, another 9/11 firefighter, Thomas Kelly, was undergoing a similar trial. Kelly admitted after a failed drug test that he had used cocaine. He argued that dismissal and loss of his pension and benefits was too harsh a penalty. But the FDNY still fired him.

    Kelly asked the Appellate Division to review Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta's decision. In November, the court upheld Scoppetta's firing of Kelly.

    Three weeks later, Schroeder, who had remained on modified duty while fighting his case, was also fired.

    "They all just walked by me like I was a display in a zoo," he said, referring to his last years at the FDNY.

    FDNY spokesman Frank Gribbon said the department's zero-tolerance policy for drug-test failures is "applied equally and consistently in all cases," but that firefighters who come forward for counseling on their own accord don't face the threat of job loss or punishment.

    In all, 29 firefighters have failed drug tests since the random screenings were initiated in 2003. The policy came after a collision of two fire rigs; one of the firefighter drivers tested positive for cocaine.

    At least four of those failed tests were tied to firefighters suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder due to their work on or shortly after 9/11, the firefighters union says.

    That list includes firefighter Joseph Maresca, who was caught buying cocaine from an undercover cop near Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, with his 6-year-old daughter in his car.

    An administrative law judge just ruled that Maresca also should be allowed to retire with pension and health benefits intact. His case is still pending before the FDNY.

    Department doctors have diagnosed Schroeder with post-traumatic stress disorder and severe lung damage.

    "I can't breathe," he said. "It's not getting easier."

    But now Schroeder is minus pension and medical benefits.

    On 9/11, he stopped on the 23rd floor of the north tower to help a colleague from Engine Co. 5 who had suffered a heart attack.

    "That morning, my life was complete," he said. "Within a second, we looked up and everything was suddenly out of control."

    As the south tower came crashing down, he began to rush out. But he got trapped for a while because of a collapsed stairwell, escaping the north tower moments before it collapsed.

    He spent the following weeks toiling on "the pile," sifting through debris, finding body parts. He was temporarily placed on light duty and assigned to the FDNY's counseling unit after he discovered the remains of a friend.

    Those days continually replay in his head.

    "One day I'd like to wake up and not know what it's like to have 9/11 hitting me in the face like a Muhammad Ali left hook," he said.

    Schroeder noted that he could have retired after 9/11 but stayed on to help train new firefighters.

    But Schroeder, whose father was also a firefighter, now regrets that decision.

    "It's an embarrassment that I was ever a fireman," he said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  7. #547
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    NYC adds man's cancer death to 9/11 victims' toll


    NEW YORK (AP) — A New York City man who died of lymphoma and lung disease three months ago has been added to the Sept. 11 death toll.

    The city medical examiner's office says 45-year-old Leon Heyward's death was caused by breathing in the toxic dust cloud caused by the collapse of the World Trade Center towers.

    The medical examiner says Heyward died Oct. 13 of lymphoma, complicated by the lung disease sarcoidosis (sahr-koy-DOH'-sis.)

    M.E. spokesman Ellen Borakove says Heyward was near the towers when they collapsed. She didn't know when he had become ill.

    In 2007, the office added the name of a woman who died after the 2001 attacks to the death toll because of her exposure to toxic dust. The death toll from the trade center attacks now stands at 2,752.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  8. #548
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Study: 9/11 lung problems persist years later


    NEW YORK – Researchers tracking Sept. 11 responders who became ill after working at the World Trade Center site found many had lung problems years later in a study the authors said proves persistent illness in people exposed to toxic dust caused by the twin towers' collapse.

    The study by the Mount Sinai Medical Center's medical monitoring program examined more than 3,000 responders between 2004 and 2007, repeating exams conducted between the middle of 2002 and 2004.

    Slightly more than 24 percent of the patients had abnormal lung function, the study found. In the earlier examinations, about 28 percent of the patients had similar results.

    "We know people we are following are still sick. It's confirming what we've been seeing clinically," said Dr. Jacqueline M. Moline, who treats ailing responders and co-authored the study.

    Experts have struggled since the 2001 attacks to find standards to define post-Sept. 11 illness and the time it would take to develop. The city's medical examiner recently added to the official victims' list a man who died in October of cancer and lung disease, citing his exposure to the dust cloud that enveloped the city when the 110-story towers collapsed.

    Mount Sinai's program has treated more than 26,000 people who were at the site or worked there in the days after Sept. 11. The study's authors noted that participants asked to be enrolled in the program and may have more health problems than others who were exposed but didn't enroll.

    But Norman H. Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, said the study is "probably an important finding" of long-term post-Sept. 11 illness.

    "The most reasonable explanation is that there's a subset of people who for whatever reason were more sensitive to the stuff that was inhaled," Edelman said.

    The researchers tracked 3,160 people who took followup exams between September 2004 and December 2007; all had previous exams at least 18 months earlier.

    The study appears in Thursday's editions of CHEST, a journal published by the American College of Chest Physicians.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  9. #549
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    Jan 2005
    Study shows WTC link to lung woes

    BY Leo Standora
    Thursday, February 5th 2009, 5:03 AM

    Many Sept. 11 first responders - most of them cops, firemen and construction workers who took ill after working at Ground Zero - suffered lung problems more than five years later, according to a new study.

    Experts say findings by Mount Sinai Medical Center's medical monitoring program prove those exposed to toxic dust in the twin towers' collapse suffer persistent illnesses, ranging from asthma to reactive airway disease and shortness of breath.

    The study could help experts who have long been struggling to set standards for defining a post-Sept. 11 illness and how long it takes to develop.

    The monitoring program examined more than 3,160 WTC responders between 2004 and 2007, repeating exams conducted between the middle of 2002 and 2004.

    Slightly more than 24% of those examined had abnormal lung function, the study found.

    In the earlier examinations, about 28% of the patients had had similar results.

    "We know people we are following are still sick. It's confirming what we've been seeing clinically," said Dr. Jacqueline Moline, who treats ailing responders and is a co-author of the study.

    The growing medical fallout from the WTC attacks was the focus of the Daily News Editorial Board's groundbreaking editorial series, "9/11: The Forgotten Victims," that won the Pulitzer Prize in 2007.

    As a result of the series, the federal Department of Health and Human Services released $75 million to monitor and provide health care to 9/11 volunteers - the first federal funds dedicated explicitly to 9/11 health problems.

    Then-Gov. George Pataki later signed a bill to provide line-of-duty death benefits to responders' families, Mayor Bloomberg committed more than $37 million to monitor and treat victims, and Congress filed legislation seeking an additional $1.9 billion over five years.

    Mount Sinai's program has treated more than 26,000 people who were at the site or worked there in the days after Sept. 11.

    The study's authors note that the participants all asked to be enrolled in the program and may be more symptomatic than others who were exposed but didn't enroll.

    Still, Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, said the study is "probably an important finding" of long-term post-Sept. 11 illness.

    "The most reasonable explanation is that there's a subset of people who, for whatever reason, were more sensitive to the stuff that was inhaled," Edelman said.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

  10. #550
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    Jan 2005
    Lung Problems Persist for 9/11 Responders
    Nearly a quarter still have breathing problems, study finds

    By Randy Dotinga
    Posted February 5, 2009

    THURSDAY, Feb. 5 (HealthDay News) -- Almost a quarter of a sample of people exposed to toxic dust after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attack in New York City still suffer from diminished lung capacity, a new study finds.

    The rate of problems is much higher than normal, about 2.5 times more than would be expected in people who smoke, said study co-author Dr. Jacqueline Moline, director of the World Trade Center Medical Monitoring and Treatment Program Clinical Center.

    "These tests confirm what we've seen clinically: People are sick, they're short of breath," Moline said. "They used to run miles a day, now they can barely run the length of a football field."

    But it's not clear what all of this means for their health in the long term, the researchers said.

    The study findings appear in the February issue of the journal Chest.

    Experts estimate that about 40,000 people, including fire and rescue workers, were exposed to noxious pollution in the wake of the attack on the World Trade Center.

    Between 2004 and 2007, researchers gave breath tests to 3,160 9/11 workers and volunteers who had taken part in an earlier round of tests from 2002 to 2004.

    About a quarter of those tested still have limited lung capacity and lung function, Moline said. "The most common finding we see is that people aren't able to take in as deep of a breath as you'd expect, and some can't push it out as much."

    The normal rate of lung capacity problems for a similar group of people would be five percent for non-smokers and 10 percent for smokers, she noted.

    "These are problems we're seeing five or six or seven years after the towers fell," Moline said. "Many of these folks are going to have long-term problems, and their lung function won't return to normal."

    She said that researchers may never know what component of the toxic brew of 9/11 dust and smoke hurt the lungs of those who responded to the emergency.

    Workers at the site reported cases of a signature "World Trade Center cough" and many said they suffered from such symptoms as itchy eyes and runny noses, even after the site cleanup ended in 2006.

    The news is not all bad, however. Medication and other treatment could help those who were exposed, Moline said.

    Dr. Norman Edelman, chief medical officer of the American Lung Association, said that researchers still need to figure out what comes next for those exposed to the pollution.

    "We don't know what it means for future health so we must, as the authors suggest, continue to follow them," he said.

    Research released in September by the New York City health department looked at a wide range of people exposed to the World Trade Center disaster, including nearby residents and commuters. Authors of that study estimated that more than 400,000 people were exposed to the disaster. An estimated 35,000 to 70,000 of them developed post-traumatic stress disorder, and 3,800 to 12,600 people developed asthma as a result.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG

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