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Local 2507 Fights for Family of 9/11 Paramedic

November 18, 2021 | Michael Barasch

Lt. Edith Torres was off-duty when the hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. 

The veteran FDNY EMS paramedic soon arrived at Ground Zero, where her partner from Battalion 49 in Astoria, paramedic Carlos Lillo, died searching the North Tower for his wife.

Torres was promoted to lieutenant in 2005, continuing a career of public service that started when she volunteered with the Jackson Heights Elmhurst Volunteer Ambulance Corps at age 20.

Then, in October 2016, Lt. Edith Torres was diagnosed with a rare, fast-advancing form of cervical cancer, which developed as a result of her exposure to Ground Zero toxins after 9/11.

Fewer than four months later, she passed away.

Yet the accidental death benefit and disability payments her family received was miscalculated, according to her union, FDNY EMS Local 2507, significantly underpaying her beneficiaries.

Oren Barzilay, the president of Local 2507, noted that other workers whose pension and disability benefits are managed by the New York City Employees Retirement System (NYCERS) might have been underpaid.

“Who knows how many others there are that we just don’t know about?” he asked.

Local 2507 has been helping the Torres family and others to secure their full benefits.

If you have received a disability or pension benefit from NYCERS that you believe might have been miscalculated, contact your union as soon as possible to investigate.

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