Sunday, October 17, 2010

Unions Representing Over 30,000 NY Firefighters Endorse Gllibrand for Senate...

UFA, UFOA Praise Gillibrand’s Leadership As Chief Senate Sponsor of James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, Fast-Tracking Legislation Toward Passage

Gillibrand Secured First-Ever Senate Hearing on Long-Awaited Legislation

Kirsten Gillibrand today formally received the endorsement of the Uniformed Firefighters Association, IAFF Local 94, AFL-CIO and the Uniformed Fire Officers Association, IAFF Local 854, AFL-CIO, representing more than 30,000 active and retired New York City fire fighters, fire marshals, and fire officers.

The New York City firefighters and fire officers praised Senator Gillibrand for her leadership as the chief Senate sponsor of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, and her efforts to fast-track the legislation toward final passage in the coming months. Nearly16,000 FDNY responders are enrolled in the WTC Health Registry, waiting for lawmakers to deliver the care they need.

In her short time as Senator of New York State, Senator Gillibrand has demonstrated leadership and distinguished herself in the U.S. Senate,” said UFA President Steve Cassidy. “She has shown a great knowledge and understanding of the difficult and dangerous job performed by New York City Firefighters and we look forward to working with her to get the James Zadroga Bill passed in the U.S. Senate.”

Senator Gillibrand has demonstrated an unusually deep and detailed understanding of the horrific damage done to New York City firefighters during and after the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center,” said Captain Alexander Hagan, President of the UFOA
“Everyone knows that 343 members of the FDNY died that day, but Senator Gillibrand is one of only a few who understand that thousands of firefighters who survived the attack have been sick and dying since.”

I am honored to have the support of New York’s brave firefighters and fire officers,” said Senator Gillibrand. “They know the 9/11 health bill shouldn’t come down to a partisan fight. We have an undeniable, moral obligation to pass this bill and provide care to the thousands of heroes and survivors who are suffering, dying, and waiting for us to deliver the care they need. It’s time to seize this opportunity and keep our promise to the heroes of this country who came to our rescue on 9/11.”

The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support last month, sending the legislation to the U.S. Senate. Senator Gillibrand successfully garnered the support of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) to bypass a lengthy and uncertain committee process, sending the bill straight to the Senate floor for a vote in the next legislative session. Earlier this year, Senator Gillibrand secured the first-ever Senate committee hearing on the landmark legislation that 9/11 first-responders across the country are waiting on to deliver the care they need.

The long-awaited legislation would provide monitoring and treatment for WTC responders and local community members, as well as monitoring and treatment for responders who traveled from all across the country to help in the clean-up effort following 9/11. The bill would also invest in research into new conditions of the diseases many first-responders and community members suffer from as a result of exposure to the toxic fumes of Ground Zero.

Nearly 16,000 responders and 2,700 community members are currently sick and receiving treatment. Over 40,000 responders are in medical monitoring and more than 70,000 individuals are enrolled in the WTC Health Registry. While most live in the New York/New Jersey area, at least 10,000 of those who are sick or being monitored for signs of illness today live all across America. In fact, citizens in all but four Congressional districts across the country could be affected by toxins from the 9/11 attacks.