We are pleased to announce that the first responders who rushed to Ground Zero after the horrific events of 9/11, and who subsequently became ill due to their heroic rescue and recovery work, including police officers, medical experts, firefighters and members of the building and construction trades, will receive monitoring and treatment for the rest of their lives.
As a result of the advocacy of the New Jersey State AFL-CIO, our affiliates and other partners, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act was signed into law in 2011. It established the World Trade Center Health Program at Rutgers University’s Environmental & Occupational Health Sciences Institute (EOHSI) in Piscataway, which is treating more than 4,800 first responders and survivors.
Funding would have expired in 2016 if Congress did not act. We applaud the work of the New Jersey congressional delegation, particularly Congressman Frank Pallone and Senators Bob Menendez and Cory Booker, for their dogged efforts in shepherding the permanent reauthorization through Congress. The long-term funding provides thousands of 9/11 responders and survivors with the medical treatment and care they need for 9/11-related health conditions, and economic compensation for losses resulting from the attack.
We are proud to have waged this fight on behalf of first responders like James Zadroga, a police officer who died of respiratory illness in 2006, and we are grateful that the chronically ill heroes of 9/11 and their families no longer have to worry about receiving health benefits. This fight would not have been won without our determination and solidarity. Thank you all for helping these heroes and their families who were there for our country in its darkest hours after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.