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A Debt Not Fully Paid To 9/11 First Responders

Other Editors Say...

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.

Clarence Wilburn, Jr., a paramedic from Millbury, died in July from pulmonary fibrosis, an illness linked to his time digging for bodies at Ground Zero.

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.

Barbe Fisher, who served with Mr. Wilburn on the Toledo Area Disaster Medical Assistance team, believes that 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.–Toledo Blade



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