Season 2  Episode  4

Complications For 1st Responders at 9/11

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In this episode we discuss the diseases  that continue to take the lives of the 1st responders of the 9/11 attack.  We are grateful to the Chief Medical Officer for the NYFD, Dr. David Prezant for his time with us during the interview.  Dr. Prezant is the foremost authority on the complications of 9/11 that continue to plague the first responders of the attack.

Dr. David Prezant is the Chief Medical Officer at the Office of Medical Affairs for the Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY). Dr. Prezant directs all medical protocol development for both day-to-day operations and homeland security issues. He is also Co-Director of the FDNY World Trade Center Medical Monitoring Program and the Senior Pulmonary Consultant for FDNY.

Dr. Prezant is a member of the Institute of Medicine's Committee on Personal Protective Equipment in the Workplace, the National Fire Protection Association's Health and Safety Committee, and the International Association of Firefighters Redmond Medical Advisory Board. He is a Professor of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine; Director of Albert Einstein Medical School's Pulmonary Course for medical students and the Research Director for their Unified Pulmonary Division.

Dr. Prezant responded on 9/11/01 to the World Trade Center and was present during the collapse and its aftermath. Since that day, he and Dr. Kelly (FDNY's Chief Medical Officer at the Bureau of Health Services) have initiated a multi-million dollar medical monitoring and treatment program for FDNY firefighters funded by FDNY, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

Dr. Prezant is the Principal Investigator for the FDNY Data Coordinating Center for the WTC Medical Monitoring Program and is on the Steering Committee for the WTC Medical Monitoring Program. He served as a member of the EPA WTC Technical Advisory Committee, the NYC Dept of Health WTC Registry Scientific Advisory Board, the NYS Governor's WTC panel and the NYC Mayor's medical advisory board.

Dr. Prezant has written extensively on pulmonary physiology, firefighter health and safety and since 9/11 on the health impact of World Trade Center Collapse on NYC Firefighters and EMS rescue workers. His group was the first to describe WTC Cough Syndrome (New England Journal of Medicine 2002) and has published extensively on this subject in the CDC MMWR, American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Chest and Environmental Health Perspectives.

His major research interest is in determining the mechanisms responsible for accelerated decline in longitudinal pulmonary function and/or airway hyperreactivity in firefighters after WTC exposure. Other interests are in determining the mechanisms responsible for the increased incidence of sarcoidosis in firefighters after WTC exposure.