By Kim Glovas

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — First responders to the 9/11 disaster in New York City are calling on Congress to pass dedicated funding to pay for their health costs.

Philadelphia Firefighters Local 22, which sent dozens of members to the scene, made that appeal today.

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The James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act expired on October first. Reauthorization would be included in a bill now before Congress, with a vote scheduled in five days.

Andrew Thomas, president of Philadelphia Firefighters Local 22, says members are still suffering after breathing in toxic fumes at Ground Zero.

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“Members from our task force, from our Rescue One, and our special operations command and FEMA, the worked the pile for weeks, maybe even a couple months, the actual team, maybe 40 to 50 at a time.”

“Our different members have different cancers, some of them had surgeries, maybe ten different surgeries for cancer. One member that I know of died, and there are other related illnesses to go with it,” Thomas says.

Firefighters, nationwide, are urging passage of the bill to pay sky high medical bills associated with 9/11.

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