New York City, New York (JusticeNewsFlash.com – News report) – In the wake of the events of September 11, 2001, citizens of New York bonded together and formed huge volunteer cleanup efforts for their beloved city. One dedicated volunteer was a former state correction officer – 54 year-old – Gregory Quibell of North Babylon, Long Island. Quibell devoted 242 hours at the Ground Zero site between September 12 and November 22, 2001, according to state Correction Department records. After the inhumane terror attacks, Quibell worked night and day to shuttle firefighters to and from the World Trade Center, not knowing that toxins in the air continually contaminated his lungs. He was soon diagnosed with leukemia and pulmonary fibrosis and sadly passed away.
After Quibell’s death, a documentary called “Save the Brave” was filmed, focusing on the stories of service men and women such as ex-FDNY Chief Jim Riches, EMT Charlie Giles and Firefighter John McNamara and their commitment to our nation. The documentary is meant to grab the attention of Congress members who recently opposed legislation providing more comprehensive health care funding for sick 9/11 workers. Those who lead the support of this legislation are Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney, Congressman Jerrold Nadler, and Congressman Vito Fossella. They introduced the Maloney-Nadler-Fossella 9/11 Health & Compensation Act to the US Congress (H.R. 3543; updated version H.R. 6594). Also known as the ‘James Zadroga bill’, and if passed, this act would ensure:
•That every person exposed to the toxins of Ground Zero has a right to be medically monitored.
•That every person who is sick as a result of exposure has a right to treatment.
•That care is expanded to the entire exposed community, including residents, area workers, students, and the thousands of people who came from across the country in response to the 9/11 attacks.
•That the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund would be reopened and expanded to provide further compensation for economic loss and damages.
•Continued funding and support of the ‘Centers of Excellence’ (the FDNY, Mt. Sinai Hospital, Belleview Hospital, Queens College, SUNY Stony Brook and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey) which currently provide monitoring, support and care to First Responders.
•The establishment of a Research and Support program by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services for the diagnosis and treatment of WTC-related conditions and diseases. Maloney and supporters hope that this passes by the seventh anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.
The Quibell family is not alone in their sufferings, as many rescue volunteers have contracted chronic bronchial diseases, mesothelioma, leukemia and other cancers and diseases. Hundreds of First Responders and New Yorkers have already died; an estimated 70% of the 40,000-plus First Responders have declared illnesses and it is estimated that a further 300,000 New Yorkers will become seriously ill in the future. “I honestly believe that the number of people who died on 9/11 will be far eclipsed by the number of people who will die directly because of their exposure at Ground Zero.” – Vincent Forras was a volunteer firefighter who worked on the pile for three weeks, and became sick immediately. We must urge our lawmakers to fight for the passing of such bills as the James Zadroga bill, the lives of our loved ones are in their hands.
Written by: Jana Simard Legal Reporter