The Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association (FLEOA) celebrates the renewal of the 9/11 James Zadroga Act, which funds health screenings and treatments for first responders battling illnesses related to the response and recovery from the September 11th terrorist attacks.
The Zadroga Act expired in September, and first responder advocates – FLEOA among them – have relentlessly worked to reauthorize the program before funding runs out.
"The renewal of the Zadroga Act has been a key legislative focus for FLEOA," said National President Nathan Catura. "In the wake of new terrorist threats, it is imperative that we actively demonstrate our commitment to the first responders who – in the midst of the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil – valiantly placed the safety and welfare of others ahead of their own."
To date, 3,600 9/11 first responders have been diagnosed with cancer due to sustained toxin exposure from their time spent working at the attack sites. There are over 25,000 federal, state and local law enforcement officers enrolled in the World Trade Center Health Program – which was established and funded through the 9/11 James Zadroga Act. The program provides the medical monitoring and treatment for emergency responders, recovery, and cleanup workers, and volunteers who offered aid following the attacks.
Attached to the necessary omnibus package, funding for the World Trade Center Health Program (WTCHP) has been extended indefinitely, while the Victims Compensation Fund (VCF) – which provides compensation for any individual who suffered physical harm or lost their life, or a representative of a someone killed in the September 11th attacks – has been extended for five years.
"Congress has finally done what should have been done years ago and supported the 9/11 responders for their selfless service," said Catura. "We applaud the leadership of Representatives Carolyn Maloney, Peter King and Mike Fitzpatrick for maintaining a priority focus on this issue. With its passage, thousands of federal law enforcement officers enrolled in the program can continue to receive the necessary care for a debt earned through their service and sacrifice, ensuring that these heroes have lifetime access to care that they deserve."