Mayor Bill de Blasio is once again calling for a permanent extension of the September 11th health care bill known as the Zadroga Act.
The mayor and Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro spoke Wednesday at a meeting of the World Trade Center Health Program Steering Committee. The program provides first responders who worked at the World Trade Center site after the 9-11 attacks with health and compensation benefits.
Part of the legislation expired earlier this fall, with the second part set to expire next year.
"We have to honor what they did for us, and we have to honor the way they led us through their actions. And that is why it is time for the permanent reauthorization of the Zadroga Act," de Blasio said.
The fire commissioner says a funeral was held for a first responder who died from cancer related to his work at the site. Retired Battalion Chief James Costello was 52 years old.
"It's not just numbers. It's people. And it's people multiplied out times the number of folks in their families. So 1,000 folks with cancer affect 10,000," Nigro said.
Officials say 33,000 responders suffer from September 11th-related illnesses. About 4,000 were diagnosed with cancer.