Monday, December 28, 2009

Cancer Kills Another 9/11 Responder

BY WILL VAN SANT and MATTHEW CHAYES - Newsday, Melville, N.Y.
Posted: Mon, 12/28/2009 - 09:19

Jim Ryan, a Kings Park father of three who achieved a lifelong dream when he became a New York City firefighter, died Christmas morning of pancreatic cancer, an illness he believed was caused by his months of service in the toxic dust at Ground Zero. Ryan was 48.

Mike Ryan said his younger brother underwent major surgery after being diagnosed in 2006, determined to beat the disease. For a time he appeared to be winning, Ryan said, but the cancer returned in 2008.

"I used to think he was stubborn," he said. "Then I realized later in life he was unyielding. He just refused to give up."

Mike Ryan said his brother was known to have a fighting spirit and a great sense of humor, on full display the night before he was to have his surgery in May 2006. Jim Ryan's doctor, his brother said, came to check on the patient.

"He said, 'I want to make sure you're game ready,' " Mike Ryan recalled the doctor saying. "And he said, 'I want to make sure you're game ready.' "

Jim Ryan was born in Bellerose, Queens, where he attended elementary school. After graduating from St. Francis Preparatory School in Fresh Meadows, he enrolled at Iona College. He graduated in 1983.

Mike Ryan said his brother worked for an insurance company after college, but was not satisfied. In 1995, he realized his ambition of joining the FDNY.

"When we were kids, our heroes were cops and firemen," Mike said. "And he always wanted to be a fireman. When he got on, my brother became the most content man in the world."

Jim Ryan's first firehouse was Engine Company 320 / Ladder Company 167 on Francis Lewis Boulevard in Queens. It was from there he joined the first responders descending on Ground Zero after the 9/11 attacks.

Mike Ryan said his brother spent six months on the pile at Ground Zero, working in a soup of the "most toxic stuff that you could imagine." His brother, and his brother's surgeon, Mike Ryan said, had no doubt his cancer was connected.

Though the City of New York doesn't consider Jim Ryan's death to have resulted from work done in the line of duty, Mike Ryan said fellow firefighters had showed Jim tributes that are customary for one who had.

In addition to Mike, 50, of Centerport, Jim Ryan is survived by his wife, Magda; two sons, ages 17 and 15, and a daughter, 9; another brother, Bob, 51, of Glendale, Ariz., and a sister, Maureen Miller, 52, of Bellerose.

A wake will continue Monday from 2 to 5 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. at Brueggemann Funeral Home, 522 Larkfield Rd., East Northport. Ryan's funeral will be 11 a.m. Tuesday at Abiding Presence Lutheran Church, Fort Salonga.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

WikiLeaks releases 573.000 pager intercepts from 9/11 2001.

WikiLeaks releases 573.000 pager intercepts from 9/11 2001.

8:51:31 AM|Please call Pentagon Weather|UNCLASSIFIED
Please call Pentagon Weather.......reference 1030 Meeting.....703-695-0406
8:53:44 AM "NYPD Ops Div" <|1 PCT WORLD TRADE CENTER|--- 1 PCT - WORLD TRADE CENTER - POSSIBLE EXPLOSION WORLD TRADE CENTER BUILDING. LEVEL 3 MOBILIZATION TO CHURCH AND VESSY. 10:05:57 AM Please don't leave the building. One of the towers just collapsed! PLease, please be careful. Repeat,

From 3AM on Wednesday November 25, 2009, until 3AM the following day (US east coast time), WikiLeaks will release over half a million US national text pager intercepts.

The intercepts cover a 24 hour period surrounding the September 11, 2001 attacks in New York and Washington.

To foster a deeper understanding, the messages will be released to the global community "live". That is, the first message, corresponding to 3AM September 11, 2001, five hours before the first attack, will be released at 3AM November 25, 2009 and the last, corresponding to 3AM September 12, 2001 at 3AM November 26, 2009.

To follow the release, please visit

Friday, November 20, 2009

911 FDNY witness Tower explosions

World Trade Center Reports---Lieutenant Bill Wall

This interview is getting much harder to find, but it can be located for the time being at

WTC: This Is Their Story
Firefighters Elevated to Almost Mythic Status
From the April 2002 Firehouse Magazine

We were additional units on the fifth alarm for the south tower. We went right down. We went down West End Avenue and we ran into West Street and just went straight down West Street. We parked about a block up from Vesey.

We saw a lot of smoke and flames in the upper floors. You really couldn’t see the south tower from where we were. We walked down the west side of West Street and we were keeping close to the buildings. And when we got to the Customs House, there was a policeman behind one of the pillars. He jumped out and said we got to get in because they’re tracking another inbound meaning another plane, but we ignored him. We kept going.

We went under the north pedestrian to the west side of West Street. And we made our way down to the south pedestrian bridge, crossed under that and we made our way into the Marriott Hotel. Chief Galvin was behind the desk and he was forming companies into groups. We eventually hooked up with 22 Engine, 13 Truck and, I believe, 21 Engine. And Chief Galvin told us to go to the 40th floor because that’s the lowest report they had a fire. The south tower. We were supposed to follow this guy who worked in the buildings. He was going to lead us to an elevator that still worked. But luckily, the guy who took us to the working elevator took us to the wrong tower. We went to the north tower. Saved our lives. Wrong place at the right time. We never got into the south tower. He took us right to the north tower.

We get into the lobby of the north tower and the first elevator bank, there was one elevator out of the six that still had the lights on, but they couldn’t get it to work. Meanwhile, all the other elevators were blown off their doors. So we tried the next elevator bank of six and they finally got one that worked to the 24th floor. I think it was captain of 21 he went up to check. He went up and he came back down. He went up with his guys and someone from the truck took the elevator. And then the other engine went up in the next load, 22, and on the load after that, the truck was going up. They wanted one of our guys to run the elevators since there was only one truck, so I gave the control radio to Fireman Louie Cacchioli.

It seemed like just as soon as the doors closed, the panel went out. But he had actually gotten to the top floor and the rest of the truck got off. And the last guy getting off was the irons guy, and Louie grabbed him back and says you got to stay with me because I need the tools. And as soon as the doors closed, the power went out and they were stuck in the elevator. It hadn’t moved yet. It was still on the 24th floor. They were able to force their way out pretty easy. They just popped the doors open because the elevator didn’t move yet.

The guy from the truck thought his company went to the right and Louie went to the left. And Louie found the staircase and I think he said he got down about six floors, but the staircase was blocked, so he crossed over and found another staircase and he made it to the lobby. And he had to force the door open at the lobby because it was jammed. He made his way out into the street and he hooked up with the chauffeur just before the second tower came down.

Meanwhile, in the lobby, it seemed like just as soon as the elevator doors closed, the power went out. They just went black. We couldn’t see a damn thing. It turned black and then it started rumbling and the wind and dirt was unbelievable. It was just like a hurricane. It threw me against the wall. Steve Viola said he was hurt and Keith Murphy said he was hurt. Steve lost his helmet, it got blown off his head.

After everything stopped, I looked down and I says count off, you’re supposed to take like a roll call, shout out your name. Everyone shouted out their name and said they were all right. We just like locked arms together and started walking out. There was a building worker there that was going to stay, but Tommy Terilli convinced him to come with us. We still don’t know who he was. He was worried about his job. Tommy Terilli says they don’t pay you enough, come on. When we got out of the elevator lobby, we made the right past the turnstiles and there was also people at the bottom of the escalator coming down. They were looking for a way out, so they grabbed on the line too. The visibility was zero. We got this whole line.

On the way in, I noticed that all the windows in the lobby were blown out, and that it would be a good way out if we needed to – and it was. We had to make a right out of the elevator corridor and then another right. But it was so dark that I bumped into a wall. That’s how bad the visibility was.

We started walking that way and it gradually got lighter, lighter and lighter to where we could see the windows. We went out the windows. We went straight across West Street straight out and then we got across the street and we went up north.

Debris was still falling. You couldn’t see the sky. Maybe you could see like 30 or 40 feet up. And the weirdest thing, you could hear these booms above you. It sounded like bombs going off above you, but it was actually the military jets flying overhead. It was like an eerie feeling. You couldn’t see anything, but you could hear these things going back and forth. It was like a real heavy fog.

We started heading north up West Street looking for ambulances for Murphy and Viola. We found a pumper and our eyes were burning, so we pulled the booster tank, opened the gate and washed our faces down.

Then we made our way north and we saw all the ambulances lined up on Vesey Street. We found an EMS worker and he promised to take good care of Steve and Keith – until he ran away on us. As the other one was coming down, he opened the back door and he took off.

We were on our own. We got them into the ambulance. Tommy Terilli and I started making our way back because now all the Maydays were starting. It was broken up a lot, but you could hear Mayday, Mayday and they were giving locations. So Tommy Terilli and I got some tools. We put our masks on and we headed back down, and we made it to Vesey and West Street. There was a chief directing everybody north saying they were going to regroup and go back in. I went over to him and kind of stressed the Maydays were here and now, and we were talking and that’s when the north tower came down. You heard it, a big snap and a crack. And we looked up and it looked like the whole top just exploded.

Everyone just started heading north. Everyone just ran. We got hit by the wind and the dust and I was running with Jack Ginty. He was running. I caught up to him and we were talking as we were running, what the hell are we doing here, Jack? The dust cloud overtook us and there was a big white Suburban. There was about seven of us behind it huddled. Jerry Riley was there from 22 Truck, me, Jack and a couple of other guys. And it was getting tough to breathe. I had my mask, so we were passing the mask around. You couldn’t see, so whoever was yelling for it, I would like feel their face and just like slap it on their face for a little while. Then feel the next guy’s face and then pass it to him and then take some for myself. My other guy, Tommy Terilli, he dove under a tow truck.

After like the wind and stuff subsided and we realized, all right, there’s nothing to do here, we just got to walk out of it. So we started walking north on West Street and walking and walking and we bumped into something and it turned out to be an apparatus. If you stick your face real close to it, you could see the light flashing. There was just no visibility.

I don’t know how far we got. A water truck showed up, somebody delivered the bottled water, like the five gallons of water, so we started grabbing them off the rigs and started washing our eyes out again. I tried making contact with my control man, but he had dropped his radio. I was trying to make contact with my chauffeur, but I forgot we were on Channel 3 and he was still on Channel 1. After a while, I switched back over to Channel 1 and I was able to contact the chauffeur, and the control man was with him.

They were pushing us up north, up West Street. And we all regrouped by Stuyvesant High School.

As soon as we sat down, I got all the gear off and we’re taking a blow, someone came running out of the high school saying there was a bomb in the building, so we ran further north. That’s pretty much it for the rest of the day. They wouldn’t let us back in.

Friday, September 11, 2009

9.11.2001 - We Will Never Forget

The dead must be remembered, but the living are the monument, who in ordinary times save one another in extraordinary times.

World Trade Center Response

The terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 exposed rescue and recovery workers to unprecedented levels of risk for job-related injury, illness, and death. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) responded swiftly to address workers' needs in the aftermath of the attacks. NIOSH quickly sent to Ground Zero dozens of staff who applied their technical expertise to help meet immediate worker protection needs.

Currently, NIOSH funds programs to provide medical screening, monitoring, and treatment for responders who served at the WTC site. Links to information about the NIOSH response, and World Trade Center health resources, can be found below.

Respiratory Protection for Terrorist Threats and Other Emergencies

As we mark eight years since the attacks on the World Trade Center, the NIOSH Science blog summarizes advancements in respiratory protection for responders to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear emergencies.

Read more and comment on the NIOSH Science blog.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Medal of Valor pins stolen from Mom

Medals awarded to 9/11 hero stolen

CARROLLWOOD - Part of a fallen New York City firefighter's Medal of Valor has been stolen from his mother's home in Carrollwood. And despite two arrests, investigators have been unable to recover it.

"I'm sure they don't know what it was. To them it might not be worth much, but to us it is priceless," said Brian Muldowney, whose brother Richie was awarded the medal for his sacrifice on September 11, 2001.

The Muldowney family says the medal itself is safe with Richie's widow in New York. Two pins that came with the medal were stolen in March.

Hillsborough deputies last week accused Carlos Pierce and Alicia Sanders of the burglary, but sheriff's spokesperson J.D. Callaway said Monday the pair has refused to make statements about the whereabouts of the pins.

"Just tell us where it's at," said Brian Muldowney, the brother. "You've already broke into my mom's house. Now you steal this? Just fess it up."

Muldowney, also a firefighter, said he his optimistic that putting his brother Richie's story on television will help.

Source: Fox News - Link

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

9/11 Health: Lung transplant saves FDNY Lieutenant


While "life goes on" for many Firefighters, Police Officers and EMS members continue to suffer horrific illness from operating on 9/11. One positive story is about is an FDNY Lieutenant who suffered life-threatening injuries on Sept. 11....

he is set to be released from the hospital with a new lung today.

FDNY Lt. Martin Fullam, of Annadale (Staten Island) is set to be released at noon today from Columbia-Presbyterian Hospital. FDNY Firefighters and fire officials have planned a sidewalk celebration at the entrance of the Washington Heights hospital. Lt. Fullam suffered severe lung damage in the World Trade Center attacks on Sept. 11, 2001.

Doctors say the lung transplant saved his life. We wish him a rapid and successful recovery.



The Secret List 4-29-09 / 0830 hours

Monday, February 23, 2009

New York lawmakers ask Obama to rehire 9/11 health czar

by Associated Press Monday February 23, 2009, 4:21 PM

NEW YORK — New York lawmakers and Sept. 11 health advocates urged President Obama on Monday to rehire a World Trade Center health czar who was let go last year by the Bush administration.

John Howard's six-year term as director of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health expired last July and he was not asked to stay on.

Since 2006, Howard had become the government's point person for post-Sept. 11 illness. He often found himself at odds with the Bush administration in his advocacy for a federal program to monitor and treat thousands who said they were sickened by exposure to toxic trade center dust.

Sept. 11 health advocates had said his departure could jeopardize future funding.

"The Bush administration made a good decision in appointing Dr. Howard and a typically bad move in letting him go," U.S. Rep. Carolyn Maloney said Monday at a news conference at ground zero.

The White House didn't immediately comment Monday. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention named an acting director to take over for Howard, while Howard took another job at the CDC.

An e-mail to Howard wasn't immediately returned Monday.

The government last year halted its plan for a national monitoring program, saying it was too costly. Several members of New York's congressional delegation reintroduced a bill to create the program earlier this month.

Source: AP - Link

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Obama to reopen 9/11 victims compensation fund

Pool photo by Chad Rachman/New York Post

Barack Obama spoke with 9/11 family members and first responders last Sept. 11 at the World Trade Center site. The president met with family members last week and spoke about closing Guantanamo Bay and answered a question about people suffering from health problems caused by 9/11.

Obama says he’ll ‘never forget’ those sick from 9/11

By Julie Shapiro

President Barack Obama last week renewed his pledge to help 9/11 first responders who are sick, a campaign promise his staff first made to Downtown Express in October.

Obama’s words came Friday during a meeting with about 40 family members of those killed on 9/11 and in the U.S.S. Cole attack. Obama spoke, took questions and greeted each of the attendees individually.

When Obama reached Jim Riches, a deputy chief in the F.D.N.Y. whose firefighter son was killed on 9/11, Riches handed Obama his son’s mass card.

“I said, ‘Don’t forget them,’” Riches recalled afterward. “I said, ‘Remember the firemen who died and the sick firemen.’ He said, ‘I’ll never forget them.’”

Obama’s support could be helpful as the U.S. House of Representatives weighs a new 9/11 health bill recently introduced by New York’s Congressional delegation, which would reopen the 9/11 victims’ compensation fund and provide free healthcare to first responders, residents, students and office workers who can demonstrate health problems caused by the toxic fallout of the attack. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also supports the measure.

The Senate does not have a similar bill pending, but Rachel McEneny Spencer, spokesperson for newly appointed Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, said in an e-mail that Gillibrand “is planning to take up [former Sen. Hillary Clinton’s] work on the 9/11 healthbill. But we need to get to know the parties and speak with our colleagues before we introduce a bill.”

Obama’s New York campaign office told Downtown Express last year that he supported the House bill. Clinton’s office said then that she was working to build Senate consensus on a similar measure that could pass.

Last Friday, Obama was only supposed to spend half an hour with the victims’ family members, but he spoke with them in the Executive Office Building, next to the White House, for more than an hour, Riches said.

“He was very compassionate,” Riches said. “He hugged the widows and mothers who were crying…. He said as a parent he doesn’t know how he would be able to handle the loss of a child.”

The topic of the meeting was Obama’s decision to close the Guantanamo Bay detention center, where former President George W. Bush sent terror suspects after 9/11. Some family members of terror victims initially objected to the closure, including Riches, who spent two weeks visiting Guantanamo in January.

“I was a little upset at first,” said Riches, who did not want the trials he saw to be interrupted by the closure. “It’s eight years, and we’ve had no justice.”

But after hearing Obama’s stern promises, Riches said, “I can wait a little longer. Let’s do it the right way.”

Another local activist who attended Obama’s meeting was Sally Regenhard, who founded the Skyscraper Safety Campaign after her son, a probationary firefighter, was killed on 9/11.

Regenhard brought a picture of her son with her to show Obama, and when Obama greeted her, he thanked her and offered his condolences.

“It was really just a moment in time, but it was an honor,” Regenhard said, choking up. “He treated us with such dignity and respect.”

Regenhard often finds doors slammed in her face at the local and state level when she tries to advocate for building safety and other 9/11-related causes, so she was particularly gratified to get a kind reception on the national level. Obama pledged to keep an open line of communication with the family members and to convene future meetings between them and his staff.

“It only took eight years, but it’s better late than never,” Regenhard said. “Good things do come to those who wait.”

Monday, January 26, 2009

Danger Room - killer zombie" QF-4 Phantom

Danger Room - Wired Blogs: "killer zombie" QF-4 Phantom. It's an obsolete jet, resurrected as an unmanned drone for test-firing missiles.
Navy Turbocharges Its Missiles

HsadThe Navy is developing a new type of rocket engine to make missiles faster and more deadly.

A while back, we reported on the "killer zombie" QF-4 Phantom. It's an obsolete jet, resurrected as an unmanned drone for test-firing missiles. Now we know a bit more about the super-fast weapon fired by the killer zombie.

The Higher Speed Antiradiation Demonstrator (HSAD) is another project to upgrade the AGM-88 HARM missile, used to knock out enemy air defense radar. HARM is a modular weapon, with separate warhead, seeker, controls and propulsion. That means different elements can be upgraded separately. HSAD replaces the existing rocket motor with a "turbocharged" version.

The program has been quietly progressing since 2002, when the Navy decided to develop a missile based on new propulsion technology. Work is being carried out at the Naval Air Warfare Center Weapons Division at China Lake, CA.

The goal is to test a new propulsion system that can provide "additional range and average velocity to a next generation Anti-Radiation Missile," Jerry Kong, the Navy's HSAD program manager, tells Danger Room. To make it happen, his team is building a hybrid propulsion system called an "Integral Rocket Ramjet" -- also known as a "ram-rocket."