Local Firefighter Weighs In On 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Bill

Sunday, June 16th 2019, 10:40 pm
By: Caleigh Bourgeois

Last week, a congressional committee voted to renew the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund.

It brings first responders and victims' families one step closer to long term protection.

Some of those 9/11 first responders came from Oklahoma, including Battalion Chief Larry Hansen with the Oklahoma City Fire Department.

“After 9/11 we didn't go on the initial response, but there were several of us that had worked here in Oklahoma City in our bombing. Obviously the FDNY, they had sent a team here. So, with that connection there, we were asked to go and help provide some assistance after 9/11,” Hansen said.

Hansen witnessed the devastation of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York City.

He still gets checked regularly for any side effects from working ground zero.

“We go have a physical and see if we're experiencing any of the signs or symptoms,” Hansen said.

The battalion chief said many New York City firefighters helped save Oklahomans after the Murrah Building was bombed.

“Ten of the members from FDNY that came here and helped with our bombing, were actually killed on 9/11,” Hansen said.

Therefore, Hansen is grateful a House panel voted to reauthorize the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund Wednesday.

“I think it's a wonderful thing that our government has done by providing the Victim Compensation Fund,” Hansen said.

While Hansen won't receive those funds as an Oklahoma City firefighter, he said he is hoping his fellow firefighters in New York will be able to get the funds extended.      

“It's more for the families and more to make sure they're taken care of medically, and so, it's just the right thing to do,” Hansen said.

The bill replenishing the fund must be voted upon on the House and Senate floors in order to pass.