Help get the 9/11 First Responder bill passed

We generally don’t stoop low enough here at Wildfire Today to write about politics, but there is one issue that anyone who cares about firefighters should not ignore – the 9/11 First Responder Health Care Bill, officially known in the Senate as “S. 1334: James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act of 2009“. It was introduced in the Senate June 24, 2009, passed by the House on September 29, 2010, but has not been voted on in the Senate. According to a CNN story, it is being filibustered by Republicans.

We first wrote about this bill on July 30, 2010 when Republicans in the House were fighting to kill the bill. In that article we included an amazing video showing Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) ripping into another Representative who intended to use certain procedures to prevent a vote on the bill. Two months later it passed the House, with a vote of 268 to 160.

The bill is named after a deceased New York Police Department detective who died after having worked at the 9/11 ground zero site in the toxic atmosphere. It seeks to provide medical coverage for the hundreds or thousands of firefighters, police, and other responders who worked at the 9/11 sites and were breathing the air that EPA Administrator Christine Todd Whitman said on September 13, 2001 was “not of concern”. Her statement contradicted scientists’ data from the previous day, and other facts that came to light later.

The mainstream media has virtually ignored this issue for the last several months. Recently Jon Stewart of the Daily Show has taken up the cause in a big way.  On Thursday December 16 he said this:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Worst Responders
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

He also interviewed a panel of four first responders, some of whom are suffering from illnesses caused by the work they did at the 9/11 site:

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
9/11 First Responders React to the Senate Filibuster
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook

Most people, if they watch these videos or read about the issue will be moved to take action to help these firefighters and other first responders.

What you can do

Call your two Senators (list of phone numbers)

Call minority leader Senator Mitch McConnell, (202) 224-2541. He has played a major role in preventing this bill from being voted on in the Senate.

One more video

One more Jon Stewart video about the 9/11 First Responder bill is below. It is from Monday, December 13. He starts talking about the bill at about the 2:00 minute mark.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Lame-as-F@#k Congress
www.thedailyshow.com
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> The Daily Show on Facebook
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About Bill Gabbert

Wildland fire has been a major part of Bill Gabbert’s life for several decades. After growing up in the south, he migrated to southern California where he lived for 20 years, working as a wildland firefighter. Later he took his affinity for firefighting to Indiana and eventually the Black Hills of South Dakota where he was the Fire Management Officer for a group of seven national parks. Today he is the creator and owner of WildfireToday.com and Sagacity Wildfire Services and serves as an expert witness in wildland fire. If you are interested in wildland fire, welcome… grab a cup of coffee and put your feet up. Google+