Local first responder recounts 9/11 as Congress discusses victim fund

Local news

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW)- After emotional appeals made to congress, the House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously to pass a bill that would permanently reauthorize the 9/11 Victim Fund on Wednesday, but the bill still has some hurdles to get through.

One local Horry County first responder was an EMS first responder at ground zero on 9/11.

“All of a sudden it felt like a dump truck dumped dirt on the ambulance and everything went black. You couldn’t see anything out of any window,” said Charlie Nash, 9/11 first responder.

Chaotic images will never leave Nash.

“I went around the ambulance and I looked and the towers weren’t there. That was the first time we knew they fell. We knew there was a collapse of some sort, we didn’t know the towers fell all the way down,” said Nash.

Nash went on to handle thousands of emergency calls that day and the rest of the week.

Fast forward to 2015, and he was diagnosed with stage three testicular cancer and said 9/11 could be a contributing factor.

“Stuff was all over us. We didn’t have time to change into another uniform, we were wearing that stuff until the early hours of the morning ,” said Nash.

The House Judiciary Committee voted to extend the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund to 2090.

The fund promises to cover medical costs of all of those first responders, volunteers, and survivors who continue to fall ill.

“They came to work expecting to help somebody with a heart attack or asthma attack. They didnt know they were going to be the first victims of the war on terror. Every week there’s a 9/11 first responder dying from illnesses related to 9/11. It’s something that’s going to affect us for a long time,” said Nash.

The 7.4 billion dollars congress approved in 2015 has nearly run out, forcing the fund’s administrator to reduce payouts.

Nash said people in the medical emergency services have been denied. He hasn’t applied for the fund yet, and also says he’s been fortunate.

“There’s a lot of people worse off than me who need it now,” said Nash.

The bill now goes to the floor for a full vote in the House then to the Senate

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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