Updated Sep 11, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Post-9/11 first responder deaths now nearly equal to attack casualties

the North Tower Memorial Pool

The North Tower Memorial Pool during the annual 9/11 Commemoration Ceremony on September 11 in New York City. Photo: Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

The number of 9/11 first responders who have died from Ground Zero-related health complications is now nearly equal to number of first responders who died during the attacks.

Driving the news: The New York City Fire Department (FDNY) announced last week the addition of 43 names of first responders who died from 9/11-related ailments to its memorial at the World Trade Center.

  • The names added include those of firefighters, paramedics and EMTs.
  • "These brave men and women showed up that day, and in the days and months following the attacks to participate in the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site. We will never forget them," Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said in the press release.

By the numbers: In the 22 years since 9/11, 341 "FDNY members have died from rare cancers and diseases caused by the toxic dust at Ground Zero," the Uniformed Firefighters Association wrote in a Facebook post on Monday.

  • The count is nearly equal to the 343 New York City firefighters who died on September 11, 2001.
  • According to the New York City Police Department, 23 NYPD officers died on 9/11. In the years since 323 members of the force have died from 9/11-related illnesses.

Health ailments related to 9/11 have also impacted members of the FBI and Department of Defense.

  • FBI Director Christopher Wray said last year that 21 FBI employees had died from related illnesses in the years since the attacks.

The big picture: Increased funding for the 9/11 Victims Compensation Fund was long been the subject of an ongoing effort in Congress.

  • In 2019 the Senate voted to secure funding for the Fund through 2092 and the legislation was signed into law by former President Trump.

What to watch: A new New York law, called the 9/11 Notice Act, will require large employers to inform current and former workers who were present in the exposure zones of the attacks about their eligibility to register for federal programs providing compensation and healthcare for attack victims.

  • New York Gov. Kathy Hochul signed the bill into law on Monday.
  • "On this solemn day of remembrance, let us not only honor the lives lost on 9/11, but also extend our support to the survivors, their loved ones and our first responders," Hochul said in a statement.

Editor's note: This story has been updated to add statistics on NYPD officers, and to reflect Hochul signing the bill into law.

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