Peninsula Firefighters To Benefit From Fed. First Responder Act

MENLO PARK (KCBS)- After the holidays, the president is expected to sign a bill that covers the medical costs for first responders working at the World Trade Center site after the September 11th attack. This should be a big help for a Peninsula Fire Unit deployed to New York at the time.

Menlo Park Fire Chief Harold Schapelhouman has suffered respiratory problems ever since his team was sent to help out in the aftermath of the attack. Seventy percent of his team got sick with pneumonia, bloody noses and other ailments within weeks of their return.

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

“I’ve paid some of my own health care bills for respiratory ailments because when you’re struggling to get better, and then you have to file an extensive claim and so forth, you just don’t want to do that,” said Schapelhouman. “I think that what needs to happen, and hopefully will happen is that it becomes easier for those responders that were there to get the type of health care that they need.”

The bill allocates nearly $2 billion over the next five years to monitor and treat injuries stemming from exposure to toxic dust and debris from Ground Zero.

(© 2010 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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