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First Responders Feel Lingering Effects From 9/11


On that fateful day

Fifteen years after a day that no one will forget, some are still feeling the effects from the attacks on September 11, 2001 -- not only psychologically but physically as well.

So much, in fact, that some first responders who assisted in the recovery efforts developed what responders dubbed as the World Trade Center cough. Stories then soon began to circulate about people suffering from lung problems, asthma and cancer.

What is known now

Since that day, experts have learned more about the debris that covered the streets. For example, the heroes that stayed and helped with the cleanup are more at risk for cancer, asthma, mental health disorders and gastrointestinal diseases, due to breathing in all of the dust, smoke and carcinogens.

An an ABC report noted some staggering statistics: 343 New York City Fire Department (FDNY) members died on 9/11, and another 127 firefighters have died of illnesses related to working at Ground Zero in the past 15 years.

Help for those who served

In addition to the physical ailments suffered by those who responded, the psychological aspect is still very much present, as well.

To help with the psychological effects, the Bellevue Hospital's World Trade Center Environmental Health Center has dedicated itself to the assessment and treatment of conditions related to the World Trade Center tragedy. Also, the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2010 helps to care for the responders who stayed at Ground Zero after the attacks.

Anthony Hilderbrand Anthony Hilderbrand is currently a fire inspector and fire investigator for the Department of Defense. He spent the last eight years in the Air Force and held five distinctive positions within the fire service. During his tenure as an Airman he had three separate tours to the Middle East. With his Associates in Fire Science in hand, Anthony is currently enrolled at American Military University pursuing his Bachelor's in Fire Science Management.