Since the terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001, nearly 10,000 first responders and others who were near the World Trade Center following the attack have been diagnosed with cancer, and more than 2,000 deaths have been attributed to illnesses associated with exposure to toxic materials because of the attack. It’s estimated that, by the end of this year, more people will have died from exposure to toxins than were killed on 9/11.
In light of that, in Florida, there are efforts to get a law passed that would extend benefits to first responders who get cancer. The so-called Cancer Presumption Bill was proposed during the 2018 legislative session but didn’t make it out of committee in the Senate.
Heather Mazurkiewicz is a public information officer at North Collier Fire Control Rescue District, who has strongly advocated for passage of such a law. She joins Gulf Coast Live on the 17th anniversary of 9/11.
Also joining the show is Geoff Bichler, a founding member and managing partner of Bichler, Oliver, Longo & Fox, PLLC in Orlando. They represent first responders with work-related disability issues around the state.