NEW YORK (PIX11) – FDNY officials stressed the need for more funding after announcing that the number of members who have died from 9/11-related illnesses is now equal to the number who died during the Sept. 11 terror attack at the World Trade Center.
The recent deaths of FDNY/EMT Hilda Vannata and FDNY firefighter Robert Fulco marked the 342 and 343 deaths of FDNY members from 9/11-related illnesses, fire officials said. The number includes firefighters, EMTs, and civilians, according to an FDNY spokesperson.
Thousands of firefighters still struggle with cancer and other illnesses related to 9/11, according to the FDNY. Some members have multiple cancers.
Officials reiterated the need for more help from the federal government to treat the sick department members. They asked lawmakers for $2.6 billion last year and only got $600 million, according to FDNY Uniformed Firefighters Association President Andrew Ansbro.
The department averages three or four deaths a month, officials said.
“The number will continue to rise for us,” Ansbro said about the number of deaths.
Erin Pflaumer is a digital content producer from Long Island who has covered both local and national news since 2018. She joined PIX11 in 2023. See more of her work here.