WTC attacks increase subsequent firefighter retirements

A new study published in the American Journal of Industrial Medicine reveals that the WTC attacks affected the health of the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) resulting in more post-9/11 retirements than expected.

Led by David J. Prezant, MD, Chief Medical Officer, FDNY, researchers assessed a total of 7,763 retired between September 11, 1994, and September 10, 2008, comparing the total number of retirements and the number and proportion of accidental disability retirements 7 years before and 7 years after the WTC attack.

Results found that in the 7 years before 9/11, there were 3,261 retirements, 48% (1,571) of which were disability retirements. In the 7 years after 9/11, there were 4,502 retirements, 66% (2,970) were disability retirements, of which 47% (1,402) were associated with WTC-related injuries or illnesses. After 9/11, the increase in disability retirements was, for the most part, due to respiratory-related illnesses and resulted in approximately 10% of the workforce having to retire.

Pension benefits associated with WTC-related disability retirements have produced an increased of over $826 million on the FDNY pension system.

"It is clear that the WTC attack has had an enormous impact on the health of the FDNY and, as a consequence, its pension system," Prezant concludes. "Human suffering cannot be measured in dollars alone but does serve as a reminder that recovery efforts, when rescue is no longer possible, should be carried out with special attention to the preservation of health for the responders."

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

NIST releases final WTC 7 investigation report

Nov 20, 2008

The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) today released its final report on the Sept. 11, 2001, collapse of the 47-story World Trade Center building 7 (WTC 7) in New York City. The final report ...

Recommended for you

Researchers review help for navigating 'Dr Google'

5 hours ago

With the onset of the digital age more and more people are turning to 'Dr Google' for health and medical information, however local researchers are worried about a lack of resources for helping consumers ...

User comments