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Cuomo grants new benefits for first responders now suffering from 9/11-related illnesses

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MANHATTAN — Governor Andrew Cuomo signed into law new benefits for public sector employees who are now sick as a result of their rescue and recovery efforts after 9/11.

"They will get health care coverage at no cost to themselves. They will get vacation coverage and sick coverage with no cost to themselves. They paid literally for New Yorkers with their health," Governor Cuomo said during a ceremony.

Salvatore Turturici, one of the people in attendance, was an FDNY EMT and worked in the rubble of the World Trade Center for months. He lobbied several lawmakers for the legislation. He's now suffering from stage 4 liver cancer.

"I'm proud to be here at the same time I'm also sad because it shouldn't be this," said Turturici. "I had to pay it forward," he told PIX11 News.