Skip to main content

Responders

In the aftermath of 9/11, tens of thousands of men and women participated in the rescue, recovery, and relief operations at the World Trade Center site, the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, PA. Among the first responders were thousands of volunteers and relief workers who came from all over the country to help. Today, thousands of these brave and selfless individuals have been diagnosed with serious mental health conditions and life-threatening illnesses, including most cancers. To date, more than 2,000 have perished.

Following the passage of the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, VOICES began assisting 9/11 responders with the process of enrolling in the Centers for Disease Control (CDC’s) World Trade Center Health Program, to access medical and mental health treatment. Over the years, VOICES staff has provided a range of support services to meet the evolving needs of responders and their families. VOICES is a clearinghouse of information to connect responders with resources that are provided by organizations, such as legal advice, compensation funds and a multitude of other services.

 
 

A Lasting Legacy of Service and Sacrifice

 

Despite toxic and hazardous conditions, an estimated 90,000 men and women participated in rescue, recovery, and relief operations at the World Trade Center site, at the Pentagon, and in Shanksville, PA.

Over the 9-month recovery effort at the World Trade Center (known then as “Ground Zero”), the victims’ remains and 1.8 million tons of debris were removed from the hallowed site.

 
 
Part of Rescue Effort
 
Volunteered There
 
Responded There
 
 
 
 

The needs of responders change over time, and our long-term support services continue to evolve to meet those needs. Today, VOICES Connects includes individual consultation and referrals, discussion and support groups, online forums, and webinars. Survivors and their families continue to actively participate in our Annual September Conference. Learn More.

 

VOICES CONNECTS - VOICES offers a wide range of programs that provide support and promote healing, including individual consultation, discussion groups, webinars and peer-to-peer support. Learn more

 

VOICES Coronavirus Response Program - was launched to provide information and support for our families and communities in the aftermath of the pandemic outbreak. VOICES developed programs based on our lessons learned to promote healing and build resilience during this unpredictable time. Learn more

 

Annual Remembrance Symposium - This annual September event provides an opportunity for victims’ families, survivors and responders to gather for an informative program in advance of the anniversary. The program includes insightful presentations and panel discussions by leading practitioners in the fields of victim support, mental health and programs that promote healing and resilience. Learn more

 

World Trade Center Health Program - The World Trade Center (WTC) Health Program provides medical monitoring and treatment for responders at the WTC and related sites in New York City, Pentagon, and Shanksville, PA. Services are delivered locally in the New York City area through Medical Centers of Excellence and nationally through a network of medical care providers (the National Program). In the 2015 reauthorization the program was essentially made permanent since it is authorized until 2090. There is no time limit for joining the program. Learn more

 
 
 
Compensation Funds

In the years since the terrorist attacks, thousands of responders have been diagnosed with mental health conditions and serious illnesses due to their exposure to toxins in the aftermath of the attacks. Many have died of 9/11-related illnesses. The ongoing need to support the responder community is reflected in the landmark legislation that created medical and compensation funds they need and deserve.

 

Victim Compensation Fund - The September 11th Victim Compensation Fund (VCF) provides compensation to individuals (or a personal representative of a deceased individual) who were present at the World Trade Center or the surrounding New York City Exposure Zone; the Pentagon crash site; and the Shanksville, Pennsylvania crash site, at some point between September 11, 2001, and May 30, 2002, and who have since been diagnosed with a 9/11-related illness. The VCF is not limited to first responders. Compensation is also available to those who worked or volunteered in construction, clean-up, and debris removal including Fresh Kills, barges and the OCME. Learn more

Line of Duty Injury - Line of Duty Injury (LODI) benefits enable active-duty FDNY, NYPD, DOC and DSNY employees to get treatment for illnesses and injuries arising out of participation in WTC operations. LODI benefits end when the uniformed member retires. More information about LODI benefits, including death benefits, is available from each department’s medical division or the worker’s union. Learn more

NY State Workers Compensation - Normally, workers who are injured or made ill on the job must file a claim with the N.Y.S. Workers Compensation Board within two years of sustaining a workplace injury or illness. Since 9/11 -related health conditions may not develop for many years, the New York State Legislature has amended the law twice to extend that deadline for 9/11 responders. Learn more

Disability & Death - The New York State Legislature has enacted the World Trade Center (WTC) Disability Law. The law establishes a presumption that certain illnesses for certain New York City and State employees were caused by rescue, recovery or cleanup operations at the WTC and, if disabling, entitle the employee to accidental disability retirement benefits. Learn more

The World Trade Center Volunteer Fund - Established in 2002 to provide benefits to volunteers who incurred lost wages and/or health related problems due to their volunteer work in the WTC rescue, recovery and clean-up efforts. Normally, unpaid volunteers are ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits. However, the NY Workers’ Compensation Law was amended to provide coverage for WTC volunteers. The WTC Volunteer Fund is administered by the Workers’ Compensation Board and is now funded by New York State. Learn more

 
 
 

Nearly two decades after 9/11, the tragedy continues to impact responders who worked in the rescue and recovery efforts in the aftermath of the attacks. Thousands have died of 9/11-related illnesses due to their exposure to toxins. The 9/11 Memorial dedicated the Memorial Glade to honor these heroes and to celebrate the spirit of service that brought hope and healing to the nation. Memorials across the country have been erected to commemorate the lives of the fallen 9/11 responders, and to tell their stories of bravery. Learn More.

 

VOICES 9/11 Living Memorial Responder Stories - VOICES 9/11 Living Memorial is a growing compilation of firsthand accounts that document the stories of 9/11 first responders, recovery workers and volunteers who worked in the recovery effort. Learn more

Stories of 9/11 first responders, recovery workers and volunteers. Learn more

Memorial Glade - Dedicated on May 30, 2019, the 17th anniversary of the official end of the World Trade Center recovery operation, the Memorial Glade is a verdant space honoring the ongoing sacrifices of 9/11 responders and survivors. Learn more

Responders Park - Located in Nesconset, New York, the 911 Responders Remembered Park honors the heroes who have died since 9/11. An annual ceremony is held in September and the names of responders who died that year are added to the wall. Learn more

Calling of the Names – Held at St. Paul’s Chapel each year on the 9/11 anniversary, the names of deceased 9/11 rescue and recovery workers and volunteers are spoken in their honor. You can submit a name to be read aloud at a future Calling of the Names ceremony. Learn more

Other Memorials Around the Globe – Over the years, memorials to honor the victims and the responders who have died since 9/11 have been built in communities around the United States, underscoring the ongoing impact of the tragedy. Learn more by browsing the VOICES memorials archive to view memorials in your community.

 
 
 
 

Find answers that address various programs, visitation and financial questions. Learn More.

Want to contact VOICES, become a member, or sign up for our newsletters? Learn More.

Our valued partner organizations that have played a vital role helping responders. Learn More.

Collection of videos containing valuable resources and information for responders. Learn More.

 

Responder Resources
Important 9/11 community information including links to state and federal resources, memorials, support organizations, foundations, and health-related websites. Click to Expand.

Fealgood Foundation
www.fealgoodfoundation.com
 
Victim Compensation Fund
www.vcf.org
 
NY State Workers Compensations Board
www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/forms/wtc-12.pdf
 
 
Ray Pfeifer Foundation
www.theraypfeiferfoundation.org
 
 
America’s 9/11 Foundation Inc
www.americas911foundation.org/
 
Friends of Firefighters
www.friendsoffirefighters.org
 
9/11 Health Watch
www.911healthwatch.org/
 
 
Calling of the Names
www.callingofthenames.com
 
9/11 Memorial
www.911memorial.org
 
 
Flight 93 National Memorial
www.nps.gov/flni/index.htm
 
Gary Sinise Foundation
www.garysinisefoundation.org
 
 
Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation
www.tunnel2towers.org
 
NY Says Thank You
www.newyorksaysthankyou.org
 
Families of Freedom Scholarship
www.familiesoffreedom.org/other-911-funds
 
Serving Those Who Serve
www.stws.org
 
9/11 Tribute Museum
www.911tributemuseum.org/
 
9/11 Responders Remembered Memorial Park
www.respondersremembered.com
 
Pentagon Memorial
www.pentagonmemorial.org
 
Heart 9/11
www.heart911.org
 
Firefighter Cancer Support
www.firefightercancersupport.org
 
World Trade Center Health Program
www.cdc.gov/wtchp
 
Project Rebirth
www.projectrebirth.org