FDNY members head to DC to lobby for extension of 9/11 health care

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RANDALL’S ISLAND, The Bronx — More than 100 FDNY heroes are heading to Washington, D.C., Thursday to show their support for new legislation that would provide indefinite health benefits for those sickened by cancer or other chronic diseases due to their work at Ground Zero in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 attacks.

It is an important legislation that if passed some say would finally give these first responders some peace of mind, since benefits are currently set to expire in October.

The bill is called the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Reauthorization Act. It is designed to renew the original so-called Zadroga legislation passed in December 2010 by President Barack Obama and that provided health benefits for first-responders and civilian volunteers who became ill in that aftermath of terror attacks.

Among the firefighters and fire officers expected to show up for Thursday’s hearing in Washington, D.C. will be some of the city’s biggest heroes. They are set to testify at a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

According to the FDNY, more than 106 firefighters have died from 9/11-related health problems and more than 1,000 are seriously sick right now.

So far, the FDNY has registered support from more than 70,000 first-responders from throughout the country, including every congressional district in the nation.

Even though there is bi-partisan support from this, some are worrying that accomplishing this is not exactly a slam dunk due to “pitfalls in the political process.”

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