Donovan, Gentile, First Responders Share Stories of 9/11 Heroes Relying on Zadroga Act
Brooklyn, NY—December 7, 2015....Congressman Dan Donovan (NY-11), Council Member Vincent Gentile, and dozens of first responders and union leaders today rallied in support of a permanent Zadroga Act extension. The event focused on the personal stories of 9/11 heroes who risked everything to help others at Ground Zero, and now rely on Zadroga Act benefits for treatment, monitoring, and compensation.
FDNY EMS Local 2507 Vice President Joe Conzo introduced 9/11 emergency responders Shaya Gutleizer and Sal Turturici, who rely on Zadroga Act benefits for health treatment and monitoring. Mr. Gutleizer recounted his experience as a Ground Zero first responder, spending September 11 and the following week working nonstop to care for the injured. He now suffers from a lung condition and sinus problems, and relies on the Zadroga Act to fund all of his treatment, screenings, and medications.
Mr. Turturici suffers from stage four cancer. He served in the FDNY for 15 years, and responded on September 11, 2001. He spent December, 2001 through May, 2002 operating a gator to bring body parts from Ground Zero to a makeshift morgue. Mr. Turturici and his wife, Wendy, have three children: Salvatore and Rocco, both three years old, and Liliana, five years old. This hero made unimaginable sacrifices to pick up the pieces in New York City’s darkest period. He made time today to advocate for the thousands of other heroes who rely on the WTC Health Program for critical monitoring and treatment.
Congressman Dan Donovan said, “We came together today to focus on the heroes who selflessly rushed toward death and destruction in the aftermath of the 2001 attacks. Many will pay for their heroism for the rest of their lives; some have already paid with their lives. Their stories speak louder than any of us standing behind a podium. It is cancer victims like Sal Turturici and his family who are the most forceful voices in support of a permanent Zadroga Act. I thank them for their time, their words, and – most of all – their sacrifice.”
Council Member Gentile added, “I stood with first responders at Ground Zero shortly after 9/11. I witnessed them scour through rubble for survivors, remove dead bodies and debris— risking their lives and health to clean-up a horrific site. Along with Congressman Donovan and Councilman Treyger, I urge congress to permanently extend the WTC Health Program and Victims Compensation Fund. We must take care of those who took care of us during the worst terror attack in our history.”