Sunday, September 11, 2011

"60 Minutes" on Dr. Benjamin Luft on September 11, 2011

The second story on 60 Minutes was on Dr. Benjamin Luft of SUNY/Stony Brook who has been treating responders from September 11.

So far, Luft has recorded interviews with 137 patients from 9/11. Firemen, policemen, EMS workers, and volunteers.
For the responders, Sept 11, 2011 marks ten years of something that never ends. The World Trade Center disaster still lasts for them. Asthma. Ken George helped recover human remains; restricted airway disease. Congress guaranteed coverage only for the next five years.

One responder noted that the jumpers were the worst.

Luft noted that September 11 was a constant part of their lives. "We're not leaving" is the name of Luft's book. The Library of Congress is looking into adding Luft's interviews to its collection.

**At 8:00pm, CBS presented 9/11: ten years later, sponsored by State Farm, with opening text by the CEO of State Farm. Robert DeNiro began the documentary from ground zero on 9/11/2011. Engine 7/ladder 1. James Hanlon. Jules and Gedeon Naudet. June 9, 2001: the plan was to follow rookie firefighters, with one Tony Benetatos being selected.

There is a lawyer remark. If I wanted to be rich, I would have become a lawyer, but I would have to live with myself. This (being a firefighter) I can live with.

September 11, 2001 started like a normal day. Jules was riding with the battalion chief in the morning. 8:46am showed a routine gas test; then in the background the first airplane hit the WTC. Battalion chief Pfeiffer made the first official report.
Staging center at Vesey and West. The fire truck parked right under the awning of 1 WTC. The damage was above the 78th floor, but all the windows on the first floor were blown out. The elevators were out. A firefighter with equipment (67 pounds) takes about 1 minute to climb one floor. Kevin Pfeiffer of Engine 33 was the chief's brother, and went up. Gedeon taped the impact of the second plane. Most of the people from tower I came out through the mezzazine level. One firefighter: How bad is up there that the better option is to jump? At 9:30am, Tony is videotaped at the firehouse. There are about 98 elevators in the World Trade Center. There was video of Father Michael Judge, a fire department chaplain. There was video of Larry Burns. Tony was with Larry. Then the South Tower collapsed. Jules and Chief Pfeiffer were trapped in the dark. They walked up an escalator. Gedeon hitched a ride with 3 off-duty firemen in a pickup truck. Chief Pfeiffer had found a safe exit and tried to radio back. The others had gone out another way. Father Michael Judge was the first recorded death of 9/11. Chief Pfeiffer tried to set up a new command post. At 10:28am there was a huge roar.

Jules and Gedeon reunited in the fire house.


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