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Ground Zero cops & firefighters don’t deserve workers’ comp claims

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Here is an editorial that was brought to my attention:

Not my opinion, just bringing it out for discussion.

http://www.laconiadailysun.com/LaconiaPDF/2010/12/15L.pdf

To the editor,

It was on the news again today. The

cops and fi refi ghters at the seen are

looking for a large settlement because

of health problems as a result of the

toxic air around Ground Zero in New

York City. Well HELLO you guys, you

were trained in using protective gear,

masks, goggles and respirators if need

be. You should be reprimanded for not

following procedure.

When I was in Viet Nam, if you did

not have the right stuff for the job you

died, period. You guys were trained

and knew what it took to get the job

done, including the proper safety

equipment. Now don’t tell me it was

an urgent situation and that you

didn’t have time to grab your safety

equipment . That is part of your job

and in your job description, in Nam

that would be kind of like not having

my M16 with me.

This is another situation of deadbeats

looking for a buck. Dirty cops

and dirty fi refi ghters are out there.

Many of you know one. The cop or the

fi refi ghter who comes up to his place

on the lake and enjoys it while on

some disability claim, usually a back

problem, Oh brother, deadbeats on the

free ride.

I really expect to take a lot of heat

on this issue but I really don’t care,

bring it on and defend your deadbeat

insurance fraud. I know too many

cases of disability abuse to let this one

slide. The Ground Zero workers do not

even deserve workers comp let alone

a class action law suit if they were not

using proper protective gear that is

provided by their employer.

Dean Tappan

Center Harbor

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Here is an editorial that was brought to my attention:

Not my opinion, just bringing it out for discussion.

http://www.laconiadailysun.com/LaconiaPDF/2010/12/15L.pdf

WOW what vehemence. I wonder if the author has ever filed for federal or state assistance? If he has, then he could be considered a deadbeat too.

He must not hold emergency workers in too high an esteem.

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wow that is really harsh!! I am pretty sure he was not down at ground zero looking for his fellow workers now was he!!

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I don't know. I think he makes a valid point even with all the vitriolic rhetoric.

HOWEVER(!), there are a couple things he's forgetting.

The Towers collapsing created a scenario for which nobody could've been prepared. In the immediate response to the collapse, by all accounts, things got really crazy. Sometimes, in the heat of battle, basic safety precautions get thrown out the window out of necessity of either surviving or helping others survive. This says nothing of the guys who under normal circumstances wouldn't have been in the middle of the action (e.g. cops directing traffic outside the buildings) who suddenly found themselves surrounded by collapsing building and all that dust.

In the aftermath and clean up these guys were told that the air was clean and safe to breathe. It's really hard to fault them for not using SCBA or respirators when they're told that there is no danger.

Even with these exceptions in mind I do find the cavalier approach that many of these guys took with their own health a bit disturbing. It was a really dusty environment and there were respirators available for them to use. Even though they were told the air was clean I don't know that I'd want to work without some sort of respiratory protection from all the dust that was being kicked up.

All this being said, it's easy to critique a situation from the comfort of 20/20 armchair hindsight. While that doesn't remove the possibility of an accurate assessment of events, it does create a situation where the reviewer should be a little more sensitive. The author of this letter to the editor certainly tossed any tact he may have had out the window.

And he may have done that on purpose.

I'm not saying I entirely agree with him. But I do think he makes a valid point.

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I highly doubt that any of the emergency personnel knew that the buildings would collapse causing all that dust and debris. Some of them, I'm sure, were too busy running for their life (literally), to don appropriate PPE.

If this guy served in Nam, as my dad did, I would hope that he isn't sitting around drawing VA disability because he didn't get out of the way when being shot at. After all, he knew he'd be getting shot at, so he should have known to move out of the way. That would make just as much sense as what he's claiming anyways...

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Besides finding this guys and stringing him up by his ball sack over Ground Zero I do have something to say.

He makes it sound like we all were walking around in our shorts that day. In the first hours everyone was in SCBA, respirators, white masks ect. We knew the dangers we were facing; asbestos, toxic fumes, unknown chemicals, decaying flesh; but we were then assured around 10:30pm the first night the threat was low. Basic precautions were only necessery ie white masks on the bucket line, gloves for moving cement, ect. By day two the EPA was spouting off that everything was OK. On day 3 they told the public the air was fine.

We knew what we had to do, we did the best with what we had. I remember firefighters runnig through multiple SCBA bottles until the very last drops of O2 were used up. Then they ditched them. EMS was in HEPA filters until they became too clogged to breath through. Construction workers in regular dust masks until they were black and clogged. Remember one thing we thought it was a RESCUE operation not Recovery. We thought we would be pulling patients out not parts. 343 brothers and sitters were going to be found not buried.

This primordial ooze (sorry for the disrespect to all single celled organisms) that mascarades as a human being should go to the homes of those affected, those on ventalators, those with COPD, mesothelioma, asbestosis, or better yet the GRAVES of the rescue workers that already passed and tell them to their face that they are leeches or conning the system. That they are corrupt and trying to just get a check. Then after they all kick his ass have him dial 911 and guess what... he will be treated by EMTs without hesitation, without regard for this article, because it IS our job it IS what we do. Check or no check we WILL do our jobs.

FYI when I say we I dont mean EMS, FD,PD in general I mean those on the pile and around Ground Zero. I was there 72 hours so he is personally attacking me in this one.

Now let me go punch a wall instead of his face.

edited to remove so much vulgarity I would be banned for life

Edited by UGLyEMT

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Ignoring the tone that the article took, I am a little conflicted. On one hand, yea, if everyone is saying it's perfectly safe, then I can see rescuers not wearing masks. However, if the masks are actually clogging, then I think that's a good indication that maybe not all is as safe as it seems.

Similarly, it doesn't take long to find a lot of videos, definitely more than a handful, of fire fighters working fires and standing in smoke without using SCBAs. They might not have them on or they might be wearing the tank without the facemask, but the fact is that they're standing in smoke breathing in a ton of nasty crud that they don't have to be breathing in, and I have no doubt that they will sooner than later be on disability because they wanted to be cool and not use the gear provided. However, I think 9/11 is a special case because of the rapid pace of events on the actual day, in addition to the length of the operation afterwards.

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What are these folks asking for that has got this guy so shook up?

Are Fire and PD asking for big settlements? I don't believe his issue is with unemployment. And lets be honest and admit that many of us are tired of watching the disabled firemen at their bowling or softball tournaments because they were gifted with an unusual ache or pain that got them sidelined from employment but able to go full steam in life.

I'm holding off on being too vocal until I have some idea what it is that they are looking for.

Dwayne

Edited by DwayneEMTP

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What are these folks asking for that has got this guy so shook up?

Are Fire and PD asking for big settlements? I don't believe his issue is with unemployment. And lets be honest and admit that many of us are tired of watching the disabled firemen at their bowling or softball tournaments because they were gifted with an unusual ache or pain that got them sidelined from employment but able to go full steam in life.

I'm holding off on being too vocal until I have some idea what it is that they are looking for.

Dwayne

Here is what the Health Care Bill would provide Dwayne.

Currently, the government provides funding on a piecemeal basis for health monitoring of those exposed to the toxic dust and debris at the World Trade Center site following the 2001 terrorist attacks. The stalled legislation, if passed, would provide a long-term care program for such people, including those who labored in the recovery effort and others who lived and worked near the site. The bill would also reopen a victim-compensation fund for those who have become ill or died.

Basically it is a 7.4 billion dollar program to aid in long term care for 9/11 responders, workers and families. Including people that lived in the area who became ill that are not part of the emergency services. Compensation claims vary from person to person but there is a cap as to how much they can get. It is a fund that would unburden families who have been denied medical coverage or whos coverage has run out and make it easier for these people to get the treatment they need. Yes, for those that didn't know, 9/11 workers are usually denied medical coverage and are classified as "preexisting exclusionary condition" if you still have coverage some companies have put limits on the amount of coverage they will pay, some as low as 100,000 lifetime. Thats right, they will only pay 100,000 in bills for the rest of your life. As anyone that has been in a hospital for more then a few days knows 100,000 dries up pretty quick.

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I agree that is tone was uncalled for, Up until that day no Firefighter, LEO, or EMS provider had experienced a man made event of that magnitude in this country. Having those towers and several other buildings collapse as fast as they did was probably the farthest scenario in anyone's mind. With an incident of this magnitude people are going to have have health issues both physical and mental regardless of what precautions are taken. Masks, SCBA, and other protective gear are going to become ineffective at some point, and I'm sure the demand for this type of gear was far greater then what was in the supply channels.

What sickened me the most was when the author stated that he is a Vietnam Vet and that if you didn't have the right "stuff" you were dead...period. Now ask a combat vet if there was ever a time that they had all the right "stuff", I'm almost positive that the majority will sound off with a resounding NO....I know I didn't have always have all the "stuff" needed to complete my missions as safely as possible, that's why we are taught to adapt, improvise, and overcome. I made it out alive, a little worse for wear but non the less nobody can foresee a perfect outcome to such a large scale event where deaths are in the hundreds and thousands and to which material which is normally safe has been rendered into hazardous material.

Public service is just as hazardous as military service, They come with the notation that there is a good chance that one day you may not be going home or that your health may be severely compromised. That isn't a waiver to if you get hurt or ill then you're on your own. If we didn't do this then who would, what would this county be like if nobody filled our ranks because it's not always safe and you may be put into a situation where you may not have all the right "stuff"?

Just like anywhere else, we're gonna have folks who while in the line of duty become minorly injured or ill milk the system for everything even though they can have a high quality of life and be very productive in another field, but don't put the hammer down on those who will never be a fraction of their former self, those who did their jobs and paid the price for it.

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