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9/11 Injuries

Firefighter-Turned-Advocate Fights for 9/11 Community

October 26, 2020 | Michael Barasch

In the years since 9/11, the attorneys at Barasch & McGarry have been privileged to represent thousands of first responders, survivors, and families whose lives were forever altered on that day. Fighting for health care and compensation for the 9/11 community has become our mission. But we are not doing it alone. Our team is composed of claims administrators, supervisors, managers and, since 2016, former firefighter and first responder Richard Alles, who serves as our Director of 9/11 Community Affairs.

Twenty minutes after the North Tower collapsed, Richard Alles was there, leading a search-and-rescue mission, trying to find people to save. As we know now, there were precious few rescues at the site that day. “I fully expected that we were going to find and assist hundreds and hundreds of survivors in the wreckage,” Richard said in an interview on the 19th anniversary of the attacks. “And it turned out shortly, days after that, I began to understand that we weren’t really going to find anybody. And we didn’t.”

When Richard retired from the New York City Fire Department after 38 years, he knew he could leave firefighting behind but he could never leave behind the people who now are suffering with cancer, respiratory diseases, heart disease, and other illnesses that are tied to toxic dust and debris inhaled at Ground Zero.

As Director of 9/11 Community Affairs at Barasch & McGarry, Richard works tirelessly to inform the 9/11 community of the compensation programs that are available to help pay for health care and medical bills for those afflicted by 9/11-related illnesses. The World Trade Center Health Program and the September 11 Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) provide survivors and first responders with free health care and financial compensation for those whose illnesses are linked to 9/11. To take advantage of these programs, you don’t need to file a lawsuit. You just need to file a claim and prove that you were in Lower Manhattan on 9/11 or during the following 8 months.

Richard and the entire Barasch & McGarry team can help you with your claim. To get started, all you have to do is call our New York office at [ln::phone] or contact us online. Our lawyers and staff are ready to explain the benefits available and get you enrolled in the programs so you no longer face such a heavy financial burden.

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