Local Firefighters Left Out Of WTC Settlement

Updated 12/20/2010 at 9:15 p.m.

CHICAGO (WBBM) — Some Chicago firefighters who volunteered to help at Ground Zero after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks are being left out of a settlement to cover health claims.

As WBBM Newsradio’s Mike Krauser reports, one volunteer, Arthur Noonan, was diagnosed with leukemia after the attacks.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser Reports

He was in Lower Manhattan, lined up with others, passing buckets of debris so that human remains could be separated.

“There was a coating of dust everywhere, a gray dust, and in some places it might be 6 or 8 inches deep,” Noonan said.

Respirators clogged up, and eventually, the volunteers worked without them.

Noonan’s career as a firefighter ended in 2004, when the leukemia diagnosis came down. It is now in remission.

Chicago firefighter Stanley Salata was also at the World Trade Center site.

He was diagnosed with respiratory problems two years later. He is still on the job.

The Chicago Sun-Times is reporting a judge decided that neither Noonan nor Solata will be part of the settlement. The judge is ruling not that their health problems weren’t related to their work at Ground Zero, but that they filed too late, by two weeks.

Noonan and Salata are appealing.

“We went there, did our best for the people of New York and the people of the United States and it would be nice now if we got some help back,” Noonan told CBS 2’s Pamela Jones.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois is pushing for legislation that would allow first responders like Noonan and Salata to be compensated.

Originally, first responders had until 2003 to file a claim under the 911 compensation fund. This bill would reopen the fund, add new money and give first responders until 2030 to file claims, in case they develop health problems later in life that are a result of working at Ground Zero.

  • David W. Wiersma

    Firefighters/First Responders Arthur Noonan, Matthew J. McCauley and others like them answered the call during 9/11. Now there is debate over their participation in compensation for health issues brought on by their heroic deeds for America…. As a country have we sunk so low that we will not come to the aid of our own? These people put their lives in danger and their families financial future in jeopardy. If we as citizens won’t help save the men and women who selflessly volunteer in the face of great adversity what kind of statement are we making? I urge everyone to step up like these people did, come to the aid of your fellow Americans just because it’s the right thing to do. Contact Congress to pass the necessary legislation to aid the people who aid us. Your sacrifice is far less than the one they madeSee More

  • http://chicago.cbslocal.com/2010/12/23/hope-for-chicago-firefighters-in-9-11-rescue/ Hope For Chicago Firefighters In 9-11 Rescue « CBS Chicago – Breaking News, Sports, Weather, Traffic, and the Best of Chicago

    […] But both were denied access to a federal settlement to cover health claims from 9-11 survivors, beca… […]

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