Dr. Michael Crane treats the selfless 911 responders who came to New York City from all over America to help the victims of the horrific attack on the World Trade Center that cost 2996 people their lives.
Dr. Crane, who directs the World Trade Center Health Program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, says the religious and moral lessons he learned growing up was behind his desire to counsel and help those first responders.
It was what he thought about when he first saw the towers fall from a nearby Consolidated Edison office building where he was a medical director at that time.
“I prayed at that moment that I would be able to help anyone who was hurt,” he said. “It was a prayer I grew up knowing the God of love, the Irish Catholic God from the Catholic Church.”
Dr. Crane’s medical and psychological treatment of the 911 First Responders has won him their admiration and affection.
“One thing I had forgotten was that I was always taught that God collects his chits,” said with a sad smile. “And here I am all these years later. I’ve stayed with it. It’s been the best years of my life to help these people.”
Dr. Crane recalls with some wonder that so many people flocked to the World Trade Center to help. “They were a brave, understated people,” he recalled. “They came from every state in the union. It has been an honor and privilege to work for them.”
Dr. Crane’s program is funded, in part, by a federal grant called the James Zadroga 911 Health and Compensation Act. The law was named after New York City detective James Zadroga who died after spending 450 hours helping victims in the rubble of the Ground Zero 911 attack.
Click above to hear the entire show with Dr. Crane.