After 18 years, 9/11 responders still seek medical support. Photo by NBC News

Eighteen years after the September 11 attacks, 9/11 first responders, their families, as well as residents and students who were in the vicinity of the World Trade Center are still dealing with serious health consequences.

Iran Press/America: “We deal with firefighters, active and retired, and their families, and we do direct service,” Nancy Carbone, founder and executive director of Friends of Firefighters told hosts John Kiriakou and Brian Becker, describing Friends of Firefighters.

Jaime Hazan, a 9/11 first responder who was an emergency medical technician at Ground Zero; Nancy Carbone, founder and executive director of Friends of Firefighters; and Lila Nordstrom, executive director of StuyHealth, a health advocacy group for students impacted by 9/11, all joined Radio Sputnik’s Loud & Clear Wednesday to discuss the lingering effects of the attacks.

“We are primarily concerned with mental health issues. And obviously, there are a lot of illnesses related to 9/11 and … subsequently, we lost a lot of firefighters to cancer, primarily. I thought when we started this, we would be around one to three years. I now understand that there's no end to this because it’s [firefighting] an extremely dangerous job,” Carbone explained.

Hazan, who is still dealing with health issues caused by the 9/11 attacks, helped pass a federal bill known as the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. 

The bill, which was signed into law by former US President Barack Obama on January 2, 2011, funds a health care program for 9/11 survivors and responders so they can receive medical care and medication they require for as long as they need.

“On 9/11 we lost a lot of people that were vaporized instantly. But you have to realize, in these 18 years that have gone by, it’s been a slow-motion of slowly churning and developing diseases. Those diseases over time get worse. Some people are taken quickly.  But some, over time, are developing something new … There was a time before we had these bills passed that people were in bad shape,” Hazan explained.

“The mental health piece as well, that’s a huge piece. With the increased suicide rate in the police department, with first responders who are at tremendous risk of suicide, the treatment has got to happen,” he added.

According to Nordstrom, who was a teacher in lower Manhattan close to the World Trade Center in 2001, her advocacy group, StuyHealth, aims to help young adults who were exposed to toxic chemicals following the attacks.

The September 11, 2001 attacks were a series of strikes in the US which killed nearly 3,000 people and caused about $10 billion worth of property and infrastructure damage.

US officials assert that the attacks were carried out by 19 al-Qaeda terrorists but many experts have raised questions about the official account.

They believe that rogue elements within the US government, such as former Vice President Dick Cheney, orchestrated or at least encouraged the 9/11 attacks in order to accelerate the US war machine and advance the Zionist agenda.


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