For first responders, the 9/11 terrorist attacks were a mind-numbingly unique and devastating event.
“It was hard to prepare for something of that magnitude. It was such a large call,” said Patrick J. Morrison, assistant to the general president for occupational health, safety and medicine at the International Association of Fire Fighters. “It was a trying time.”
On that Tuesday morning in 2001, nearly 3,000 people died during the attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C. Of them, 343 were New York City firefighters and 23 were officers with the New York City Police Department. Many first responders who assisted in rescue and recovery efforts are feeling, or have felt, the effects – hundreds have died and thousands are suffering from related cancers, illnesses and injuries.