• In July 2019, officials in New York reported that 200 firefighters had died from illnesses related to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.
  • The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that exposure to the attacks has resulted in a range of health conditions from traumatic injuries to diseases of the respiratory and digestive systems.

In July 2019, officials in New York reported that 200 firefighters had died from illnesses related to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. Richard Driscoll was named as the 200th firefighter to die from a World Trade Center-related illness. He served in the FDNY for 32 years and was cited for bravery five times before he retired from Engine 91 in East Harlem in 2002.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said that "it is almost incomprehensible that after losing 343 members on September 11, we have now had 200 more FDNY members die due to World Trade Center illness". The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that exposure to the attacks has resulted in a range of health conditions from traumatic injuries to diseases of the respiratory and digestive systems.

The following infographic provides an overview of the increasing numbers of FDNY personnel dying from illnesses due to 9/11. The data is from the Uniformed Firefighters Association of New York who, as of September 6, 2021, now list a total of 250 FDNY deaths from 9/11 illnesses.

9/11 Illnesses Still Have a Devastating Impact on Firefighters.
9/11 Illnesses Still Have a Devastating Impact on Firefighters.
Image: Uniformed Firefighters Association of New York

What is the World Economic Forum doing to encourage healthy living in cities?

It can be tough to stay healthy when living in a big city. The Forum is responding through its Healthy Cities and Communities initiative by working to create innovative urban partnerships, which are helping residents find a renewed focus on their physical and mental health.

In 2020, the project continued to expand to new locations and has effectively helped communities impacted by COVID-19. Our work is continuing with concrete actions in 2021 where best practices and learnings from all partner cities will be shared, allowing other cities to replicate and scale.

In Jersey City, USA the Healthy Cities and Communities initiative is working with AeroFarms to deliver locally sourced vertically farmed greens to people in need. The initiative is also helping homeless people who are disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

In Mumbai, India (home to more than 20 million people) the initiative is working with the local startup community and engaging them on multiple sanitation challenges.

Learn more and find out how to join the initiative in our impact story.