SOUTHINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) — Local 9/11 first responders are calling on Congress to keep the “9/11 Victims Fund” funded.
This comes a day after first responders met with Senate Majority Mitch Mcconnell. They say he committed to hold a vote in August on the victim’s fund, which is running out of money.
100 members of the “Connecticut State Police Academy Alumni Association” will be at Thursday’s meeting in Southington.
Many of them responded to 9/11 and were exposed to ground zero toxins.
Jerry Longo, a retired State Police Sergeant said, “In our State Police Union Hall, we have a memorial to the dogs, up on the wall. They didn’t fare well after that, they got really sick, you got to imagine sniffing that stuff up right from the ground. “
They spoke with a 9/11 community advocate about their concerns on their increased risk for cancers and other diseases.
Michael Barasch, a 9/11 Community Advocate said, “Prostate cancer breast cancer skin cancer is the most common, and they are entitled to free healthcare and compensation and they don’t know it.”
A lot has changed since 9/11, except the fact that the Connecticut state troopers and first responders breathed in that toxic air, the lead and the chromium.
That’s what tonight is about, to make sure that word gets out and they register with the fund, because if they don’t register and something happens, they won’t be protected by the government.
Barasch added, “You’re doing yourself and your family a favor because these are insidious cancers, they are aggressive. They are cancers on steroids, so you need to protect your family in case God forbid something happens to you down the road.”
The victims fund is set to expire next year if Congress doesn’t act. So members of the 9/11 delegation met with Mitch O’Connell on Tuesday and handed him the badge of an NYPD officer who is dying of cancer.
John Feal, a 9/11 first responder said, “Now, Congress has a chance to take our worst days, our worst weeks, our worst months and certainly our worst 18 years of pain and suffering, and make it their finest hour.”