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Secretary Tommy G. Thompson
HHS Assistance to NYC Recovery Workers

(September 17, 2001)

Actuality = approx. 1 min 10 sec

America's spirit is strong, united in our response to terrorist attacks. We are bouncing back, thanks to the courage and compassion people are showing all across the nation.

The rescue workers in New York City and at the Pentagon are true American heroes. And we're making sure they are cared for as well.

In New York City, Department of Health and Human Services is staffing treatment stations to provide around-the-clock medical care to all the rescue and recovery workers.

We will have about 100 doctors, nurses and other medical personnel staffing the treatment stations. They're there to respond to whatever health-care needs these men and women have.

The rescue and recovery workers have inspired New York and our nation, and we will do everything in our power to make their jobs easier.

These treatment stations are part of the federal government's comprehensive approach for supporting the rescue workers. HHS has already made emergency medical equipment available, and our occupational health experts are on the ground to ensure their safety.

Rescue workers can also face serious emotional challenges and may need counseling or other help. I will be sending a specialized mental health team to offer those services to the workers in New York City.

In addition, Health and Human Services has established a toll-free hotline to connect people across the country -- including recovery workers -- with local mental health services. That number is 1-800-789-2647. If you or someone you know needs help, please take advantage of these services. That's 1-800-789-2647.

Thank you, and God bless America.


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