9/11 Responders Final Plea

NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez gave his final interview on Fox News’ "Shepard Smith Reporting" from his hospice bed. Alvarez has been advocating on behalf of other sick first responders over the years and most recently joined Jon Stewart in Washington D.C. to plead with lawmakers to extend the September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF).

Detective Luis Alvarez spent three months following the terrorist attacks looking for remains at Ground Zero. During that time, he was exposed to the cancer-causing elements that would eventually make him sick. Many of the 9/11-related cancers have a long latency period and countless of the brave men and women who rushed in to help after the terrorist attacks of 9/11 are still being diagnosed with deadly cancers.

In the years following 9/11, Luis traveled for training to other departments around the country. He came in contact with many other sick first responders that had flocked to New York to offer their help after terrorists attacked our country. Alvarez wants 9/11 first responders across the United States to be aware of the toxins they were exposed to when they were at Ground Zero, Shanksville and the Pentagon. He wants them to get healthcare and monitoring for the 9/11-illnesses they’re developing and those that have not yet been undiagnosed. 

Before Detective Alvarez learned about his liver failure, he had gone to Washington with Jon Stewart to advocate on behalf of all the 9/11 first responders affected by cancer and other 9/11-related illnesses. Stewart was also joined by many other first responders and advocates calling for lawmakers to replenish the 9/11 VCF. Alvarez spoke at the House panel saying “We went to Ground Zero, the Pentagon and Shanksville to help people first and then help their families bury someone or something…You made me come down here the day before my 69th round of chemo and I’m going to make sure that you never forget to take care of the 9/11 responders.”

I have no regrets — no regrets whatsoever, 9/11 happened. We got called down. It’s my job as an NYPD detective to respond to emergencies. So, no hesitation. We went down, spent about three months down there doing the bucket brigade, doing rooftop detail, trying to find remains. I did what every other FDNY, NYPD, EMS worker — everybody. I’m nobody special. I did what all the other guys did. And now we’re paying the price for it.
— NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez told Shep Smith

Though Luis Alvarez doesn’t consider himself special, Shep Smith disagreed and told Alvarez that all the first responders are special.

In the interview Luis, who is joined by the eldest of his three sons, makes a final plea calling for federal lawmakers to pass the bill that would permanently extend the 9/11 VCF.

We need this bill passed. It’s got to be passed quickly and efficiently so we never have to come down to Washington again and lobby.
— First Responder & NYPD Detective Luis Alvarez

Read more and watch the video here: bit.ly/911EmotionalPlea

Photo source: Andrea Booher via FEMA