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Hope For Chicago Firefighters In 9-11 Rescue

CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) -- Two Chicago firefighters who were denied compensation for health problems they believe were caused by their work at Ground Zero, are expected to benefit from a $4.2 billion package passed by congress.

As WBBM Newsradio 780's Mike Krauser reports, former Chicago firefighter Arthur Noonan, and current firefighter Stanley Salata, both went to help at the World Trade Center site after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780's Mike Krauser Reports


Noonan had to retire from the Fire Department in 2004, after he contracted leukemia. His disease is now in remission.

Salata suffers from respiratory problems, but he remains on the job.

But both were denied access to a federal settlement to cover health claims from 9-11 survivors, because they missed a deadline.

"Over the course of seven or eight years a lot of these guys' lives changed," said their attorney, Matthew McCauley. "They grew older. They got families. Some of them didn't want to be involved in litigation because the fact that they saw their brothers and sisters injured at the Trade Center site, and then later on they developed injuries they didn't know they had, going back to 2001."

Noonan and Salata are both appealing the denial of benefits.

"We went there, did our best for the people of New York and the people of the United States and it would be nice now if we got some help back," Noonan told CBS 2's Pamela Jones earlier this week.

But McCauley says he expects they will benefit from the package passed by Congress, which provides free health care and lost-wage compensation to first-responders in the 9-11 attacks.


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