Post-9/11 Illnesses Near Number of Fallen 9/11 First Responders


The toll of post-9/11 illnesses on first responders is tragically nearing the number of brave firefighters who fell during the catastrophic event itself. This sorrowful tally currently stands at 341, including firefighters, paramedics, and civilian support staff from the New York City Fire Department. Each of those individuals who suffered and succumbed to the disease in the ensuing years since 2001 now solemnly adorn the FDNY World Trade Center Memorial Wall, as per the Uniformed Firefighters Association.

This solemn memorial acknowledges those who succumbed immediately during the terror attacks, in addition to those who suffered illnesses in their wake in the years that have followed. The current count is inching tragically close to the 343 heroic firefighters who perished on that horrific day in 2001.

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On September 6, 43 more names etched in anguish were inscribed on the memorial, enhancing its somber poignancy. As per Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, the echo of 9/11 reverberates through the ranks of FDNY as they prepare to commemorate its 22nd anniversary. With each passing year, the memorial wall continues to grow, paying homage to those who sacrificed their lives in service of their fellow citizens.

In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, these courageous men and women engaged in rescue and recovery efforts at ground zero. Today, memories of their bravery indelibly etched in time are honored and renewed, ensuring that their sacrifice will forever be remembered.

The substantial health risks related to exposure to dust at the world trade center site continue to be a grave concern. Correlations have been established between such exposure and an increased risk of cardiovascular disease among the firefighters who responded initially. Furthermore, respiratory ailments and thousands of cancer diagnoses have been traced back to the hazardous toxins emitted during the devastation.

Currently, over 71,000 people are involved in the World Trade Center Health Registry. This ongoing study is crucial in comprehending the physical and mental impacts of the terror attacks and continues to provide critical insights. It further reveals the extensive consequences on not just first responders, but also evacuated workers, bystanders, local residents, and the army of altruistic volunteers who worked tirelessly at Ground Zero.

One of those etched onto the memorial last week was Lieutenant Joseph Brosi. The seasoned FDNY veteran passed away in February after bravely battling lung cancer. His son Jim Brosi vividly recalls his father, missing his constant presence, as not one day has passed without the elder Brosi in his thoughts.

Lt. Brosi had been at Ground Zero on September 11 and dedicated his time and effort at the site relentlessly. Now, Jim Brosi and his brother Joe follow in their father’s footsteps as firefighters, remembering the day the twin towers fell, having worked shoulder to shoulder with their father. Expressing his looming fear, Brosi revealed the growing number of first responders whose lives are being snuffed out by disease related to 9/11, dreading its continuous escalation.

Nevertheless, Brosi remains resolved and determined, choosing close monitoring over worry for his health, demonstrating an undeterred spirit that echoes his father’s courage and the legacy of the many brave first responders of 9/11.