A retired firefighter who was part of the tireless rescue mission in the days following the September 11, 2001 terror attacks has died of a 9/11 related cancer.
Kevin Nolan, 58, was a member of Engine Company 79 when the World Trade Center was hit, and was among the thousands of emergency service personnel at the scene immediately after tragedy struck.
The Uniformed Firefighters Association (UFA) paid tribute to Nolan on their official Twitter account yesterday (July 17), while sharing details for his wake and funeral.
— UFA NYC Firefighters (@UFANYC) July 17, 2019
The tweet also used the hashtag ‘#343andcounting’, in reference to the 343 firefighters who lost their lives in the September 11 attacks.
Since then, nearly 200 more members of the FDNY have died of World Trade Center related illnesses, according to Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
Kevin is the 199th member of the FDNY to die of World Trade Center related illness. So many years later, we continue to lose those who displayed such incredible bravery on that terrible day, and in the weeks that followed.
The firefighter, who lived in Rye, New York, and retired from the FDNY in 2007, leaves behind a wife and three adult children.
The news of Nolan’s death came just hours before Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky single-handedly blocked a Senate vote that would have ensured the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund never ran out of money.
As reported by ABC7, Paul objected to a request by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand to approve the bill by unanimous consent, which would fast-track approval.
Paul questioned the bill’s 70-year time frame and said any new spending should be offset by corresponding cuts, saying the government already faces a $22 trillion debt.
The bill, which has 74 Senate co-sponsors including Gillibrand and easily passed the House last week, would extend the compensation fund through to 2092, essentially making it permanent.
The $7.4 billion fund is rapidly being depleted, with administrators recently cutting benefit payments by up to 70 per cent. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the 9/11 bill would result in approximately $10.2 billion in additional compensation payments over 10 years.
As per CBS New York, Gillibrand said despite Paul’s objections, the bill has more than enough support in the Senate.
Sen. Paul may have turned his back on first responders today, but now we have a filibuster proof bipartisan support of 73 co-sponsors in addition to myself which means there are no more excuses for those on the other side.
Despite this blocking, the Senate is expected to pass the bill before August 2.
Our thoughts are with all of those who lost their lives on September 11, and the years since.
Rest in peace, Kevin.
If you have experienced a bereavement and would like to speak with someone in confidence contact Cruse Bereavement Care via their national helpline on 0808 808 1677.
A Broadcast Journalism Masters graduate who went on to achieve an NCTJ level 3 Diploma in Journalism, Lucy has done stints at ITV, BBC Inside Out and Key 103. While working as a journalist for UNILAD, Lucy has reported on breaking news stories while also writing features about mental health, cervical screening awareness, and Little Mix (who she is unapologetically obsessed with).