A retired FDNY hero who toiled at Ground Zero in the aftermath of 9/11 has died — making him the 200th member of the department claimed by an illness related to the toxic site, officials and sources said Thursday.
Firefighter Richard Driscoll succumbed Wednesday to a 9/11-related illness, sources said.
Driscoll, a Monroe, NY resident who retired from East Harlem’s Engine 91 in 2002, was 73.
Mayor Bill de Blasio confirmed the death Thursday with a tweet paying tribute to Driscoll and another recently-deceased smoke-eater, Kevin Nolan.
“Rest in peace, firefighters Richard Driscoll and Kevin Nolan,” wrote de Blasio.
Driscoll’s death came on the day that two spendthrift Republican senators held up legislation to re-up the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund, despite overwhelming bipartisan support behind it.
Sen. Rand Paul (Ky.) rejected a bid for a unanimous consent agreement on the Senate floor, while Sen. Mike Lee (Ut.) placed a procedural hold on the bill, effectively freezing it.
“200 members of the FDNY have now succumbed to WTC-related illness. They didn’t hesitate to run into danger,” wrote de Blasio. “They stayed until the work was done.
“The Senate MUST fully fund the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund,” he said.
Both Paul and Lee cited fiscal concerns with the legislation, which cleared the House of Representatives with overwhelming support and already has 73 senators behind it.
John Feal, a first-responder fighting for the bill, said in an appearance on CNN that he saw the pair as something other than fiscal hawks: “Assholes.”
The re-authorization bill for the package, which would effectively provide for 9/11 victims and their families in perpetuity, bears the names of three fallen heroes: smoke-eater Ray Pfeifer, NYPD cop James Zadroga and fellow Finest Luis Alvarez, who died in June just weeks after a Capitol Hill plea for the funding alongside former “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart.
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