New York Daily News

November 25, 2010


Cops mourn another victim of 9/11

Some call on Washington to stop debating
and pass Zadroga Bill


  Barcelo for News
  Patrolmen's Benevolent Association President Patrick Lynch uses wake of Robert Ehmer to call for the Zadroga bill's passage.

Hundreds paid their respects Wednesday to a city cop who lost a battle with cancer after working at Ground Zero as the toll of dying first responders continues to mount.

Robert (Bobby) Ehmer, 47, succumbed to kidney cancer Sunday after struggling with the disease since 2007.

As friends and family filed past his coffin — which was flanked by photos and his beloved Harley-Davidson — they urged Congress to pass a stalled bill to provide medical help and compensation to sickened workers.

"We're here today once again to bury a police officer, the 30th to die from illness after Sept. 11," said PBA President Patrick Lynch outside the East Islip, L.I., funeral home where Ehmer's wake was held.

"As we are doing this, in Washington — 10 years later — they are still debating and discussing."

"We have now lost more police officers to 9/11-related illness than we did in the collapse that day," he added. "And we have 83 more police officers that we know are in hospitals."

The $7.4 billion James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act is currently hung up in the Senate after passing in the House in September.

Ehmer, of East Meadow, L.I., is the latest of nearly 1,000 first responders to die from illnesses blamed on their work at Ground Zero.

He worked as a cop at the 110th Precinct in Queens before retiring in 2005. He also worked as an emergency medical technician and a volunteer firefighter.

"These guys are getting sick, and some of them are dying," said Ehmer's sister, Annette. "It's not a partisan issue. It's something that needs to get done."