On July 8, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bipartisan bill extending the work of a task force designed to provide assistance to 9/11 first responders. The bill was sponsored by two Brooklyn lawmakers and extends the efforts of the Worker Protection Task Force Act for five more years.
Through the extension, the task force will be able to continue to help those who have developed illnesses following their work at Ground Zero. To date, the task force has helped numerous individuals who were exposed to toxic air at the site of the terrorist attack, and it’s not the first time the task force’s work has been extended.
The Worker Protection Task Force consists of nine individuals selected by the governor, the state Senate or the Assembly speaker. Current appointees include doctors and union representatives. Commissioners of the New York Departments of Health and Labor, the city’s mayor and the commissioner of the Department of Civil Service are also among those involved.
According to its members, extending the work of the task force is imperative, as many first responders are just now learning about illnesses stemming from their work back on and immediately after 9/11. These illnesses tend to be extremely serious and often take years to develop, and many of these individuals have been at increased risk for developing illnesses such as cancer and asthma.
Members of the task force say that they are seeing new cases of illnesses every day, and that often these diseases result in individuals no longer being able to work and earn an income. Those affected by the toxic materials at Ground Zero not only include police officers and firefighters, but also sanitation workers, public workers and civilians who ran to the site in an effort to help others.
If you would like to know more about compensation and medical benefits available to those affected by the 9/11 attacks, speak with a dedicated personal injury attorney at Barasch & McGarry in New York City.