Firefighters Respond To Delayed 911 Compensation BIll
Utah Senator Mike Lee’s actions to delay the 9/11 victims compensation fund are not sitting well with a fire captain and a family who lost their father to cancer as a result of helping at ground zero.
Both say the victims compensation fund is critical to helping those who didn’t hesitate to answer the call to help.
“He was a hero. He loved helping people,” said Brandie Paterakis when speaking about her father Robin Pilcher, 63, a Unified Fire Authority firefighter who lost his battle to cancer in April of 2016.
“It was really really hard to lose my father because we were so close,” said Paterakis.
The reason for his death had to do with a visit to ground zero. Pilcher was one of 62 men and women from Utah’s Task Force one who answered the call to go and help after the 9/11 attack.
“When asked if he would do it again he said he would, that’s just the type of man he is,” she said.
And that’s why Paterakis doesn’t understand the actions of Utah’s own Senator Mike Lee who stalled the voting on the 9/11 victims compensation fund. A fund that helped pay for all of her father’s medical bills.
“Disappointment for sure. We put ourselves out there and our families and our loved ones to go out there and help and they are not taking care of us,” said Paterakis. “So if we have those families that really need it and it’s taken away from them where are we at.”
Salt Lake City fire Capt. Bob Silverthorne knows all about the compensation fund. He too went to ground zero, he too got cancer, and he too is a recipient of the funding.
“The fund is huge. Looking at the hindsight we weren’t protected like to the extent we should have been. Because of that we are having all these problems,” said Silverthorne
That’s why he also doesn’t understand Senator Lee’s position to stall the vote.
“I’m here to speak out for those folks out there who aren’t able to have a voice. That are going through chemo right now. They should just be taken care of it’s a no brainer to me,” said Silverthorne.
The Pilcher family says the day their father got home he coughed and hacked for nine months straight and his health was never the same.
Fortunately, Capt. Silverthorne is now cancer free as a result of intense chemotherapy after he was diagnosed.