Responders were among the first to arrive on the scene during the tragedy of 9/11. They had to assess the situation and ensure that everyone was safely out of harm’s way and received immediate medical attention. They also had the grueling task of looking for survivors in the rubble. Paramedics immediately transported victims in critical condition to the hospital. These were people with injuries that you could not treat at the scene.

Responders on 9/11 included paramedics, firefighters, and law enforcement officers, who had to work long hours due to the tragedy’s magnitude. Responders were subjected to thick smoke in the air, falling debris that needed them to be on high alert, and victims in terrible shape.

Compensation For Victims

Because the tragedy of 9/11 was so immense, some first responders developed illnesses that they are still dealing with today. As a result, some of them are entitled to compensation. To see if you are eligible, visit and speak to a lawyer for guidance.

The following are the most common illnesses experienced by 9/11 responders:

  1. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

The tragedy of 9/11 was devastating. Many lives were lost, and others were critically injured. First responders were confronted with graphic images and were required to remain calm to prevent panic among survivors.

They were also confronted with a great deal of death, as many people died that day. Most rescuers developed post-traumatic stress disorder after being exposed to such extreme destruction over long periods. While on duty, some first responders also died. Some first responders required treatment and medication to help them cope with their PTSD and live a more normal life.

  1. Cancer

As previously said, there was a lot of smoke and debris on the scene during the 9/11 disaster. As they traversed the tragic scene, responders had to safeguard themselves with protective gear.

Despite this, many responders developed cancer, the most prevalent of which were skin and prostate cancer. According to studies, this was due to the toxins and thick smoke that enveloped the area. First responders are also more likely to get lung and throat cancer.

  1. Anxiety Disorder

Another illness that is prevalent among 9/11 responders is an anxiety disorder. Anxiety can manifest as a symptom of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). People who suffer from this illness often detach themselves or shut down because they can’t completely process what they’re feeling.

Responders with severe anxiety concerns must seek treatment or take medication to assist them in coping daily.

  1. Respiratory Diseases

As mentioned before, there were a lot of toxins in the air during the 9/11 tragedy. The falling debris also made it hard for responders to breathe. Moreover, first responders are at a higher risk of contracting respiratory diseases such as interstitial lung disease and bronchiolar.

The dust, toxins, smoke, and burning fumes in the air also led to some responders contracting other respiratory disorders such as sinusitis, sore throat, coughs, and acute rhinitis.

  1. Obstructive Sleep Apnoea

Obstructive sleep apnea is a condition in which the muscles that support the soft tissues in your throat, such as the soft palate and tongue, relax for a short period. This results in an airflow obstruction, which commonly occurs during sleeping.

According to specific medical research, many first responders developed obstructive sleep apnea due to their continual exposure to toxins and harmful particles in the air.

In addition, the poisons, gases, and particulates made it difficult for first responders to breathe, creating irritation in the upper airway. They had to go through treatment to regain control.

  1. Depression

Many first responders have acquired depression due to what they witnessed on 9/11. Depression is a common PTSD side effect that requires treatment and medication. They were shown graphic images of death. Some first responders died as well, which could have significantly affected those who survived.

In combination with the other health consequences of 9/11, survivor guilt can lead to depression. However, first responders can use various therapeutic techniques and strategies, such as group therapy, to reclaim some normalcy in their life.


During the 9/11 tragedy, many people died, and first responders had to be focused and competent to save as many people as possible. They rescued people from the rubble and were again exposed to gruesome images. Survivors and responders alike suffered long-term impacts as a result of the attack.

Many people needed medication and treatment to cope with the physical and mental impacts. Responders will hopefully regain some feeling of normalcy in their life with time and patience.

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