Approval of 9/11 first responders bill praised by Frelinghuysen

The inclusion of the Zadroga Act for Sept. 11, 2001, first responders into the recently passed Consolidated Appropriations Act was praised by Vice-Chairman of the House Homeland Security Appropriations Committee Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) on Friday.

The Zadroga Act provides a long-term extension of the health care program for Sept. 11 first responders, including numerous New Jersey first responders, as well as other who suffer from long-term health problems as a result of their work in lower Manhattan in 2001 and 2002.

“Along with NYFD and other New York personnel, dozens of New Jersey’s first responders worked in the recovery zone at Ground Zero that horrible day and thereafter, including the New Jersey Task Force One search and rescue team,” Frelinghuysen said. “The reauthorization of this long-term health program is very good news for our 9/11 heroes and their families. They deserve the very best medical care if they get sick.”

With Frelinghuysen’s support, the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) and the Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) were created by Congress in 2010. The programs are tasked with providing medical monitoring, treatment and compensation to first responders and survivors who have been found to have a higher incidence of cancers and certain illnesses as a result of exposure to toxins at Ground Zero.

The bipartisan Consolidated Appropriations Act reauthorizes the VCF through 2020 and the WTCHP for the next 75 years, “ensuring that New Jersey’s bravest, who answered the call on that horrible day, continue to receive lifesaving medical treatment,” Frelinghuysen said.

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