NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – As a single Republican senator stops the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund from receiving funding, first responders are again grieving the loss of one of New York’s Bravest.
The Uniformed Firefighters Association announced that retired firefighter Kevin Nolan has died of 9/11-related cancer.
The 58-year-old had been a member of Engine Company 79 and was among the thousands of police officers and firefighters working at Ground Zero immediately after the 2001 terror attacks.
Nolan, who lived in Rye and retired from the FDNY in 2007, leaves behind a wife and three adult children.
“Kevin is the 199th member of the FDNY to die of World Trade Center related illness,” Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said, via the New York Daily News. “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 news of Nolan’s death came just hours before Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky single-handedly blocked a Senate vote to pass 70 years of funding for the 9/11 fund.
The bill had already received overwhelming support in the House, but Paul is stopping it from coming to the Senate floor over concerns about how the fund will be paid for until 2090.
The tragedy is also a reminder of the grim warning comedian Jon Stewart, an outspoken advocate for the fund, gave at a congressional hearing in June. “I’m pretty sure what’s going to happen five years from now, more of these men and women are going to get sick and they are going to die,” Stewart angrily said to lawmakers, accusing them of dragging their feet on approving new funding.
Now, as another firefighter succumbs to the toxins at Ground Zero, fellow first responders are still waiting to have their sacrifice compensated by Congress.
Nolan’s wake is scheduled for Friday in Coxe and Graziano Funeral Home in Marmaroneck. The veteran firefighter’s funeral will be in Rye on Saturday.