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Alexandria (VA) Fire Department Paramedic Joshua Weissman dies after fall off of I-395 bridge. Watch raw video of press conference.

Radio traffic from car fire and rescue of paramedic

Previous coverage of this story

Alexandria Fire Department Paramedic Joshua Weissman has died at the Washington Hospital Center following his fall last night off a bridge carrying I-395 over Four Mile Run creek in Arlington.

Here is the official statement from the City of Alexandria:

It is with great sadness that Alexandria Fire Chief Adam K. Thiel announced the death of Paramedic Joshua Weissman at 4:25pm on Thursday, February 9.

While responding to a car fire on Interstate 395 near Glebe Road on the evening of February 8, Paramedic Weissman fell from the roadway, where he suffered a severe head injury. He was rescued by City of Alexandria and Arlington County Firefighters and Paramedics, with assistance from the City of Alexandria and Arlington County Police Departments and the Virginia State Police. Despite valiant efforts by the medical team at the Washington Hospital Center, Paramedic Weissman’s injuries proved to be fatal.

Joshua Weissman, 33, of Bristow, VA. was a seven-year veteran of the Alexandria Fire Department, and was hired in April 2006.

Kari Pugh at Inside Nova has a description of how Paramedic Weissman fell from Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller:

An Alexandria ambulance parked on I-395 northbound, alongside the HOV lanes, to reach the burning vehicle.

According to Geller, there is a three-foot gap between two cement barriers separating the lanes.  Geller said Weissman was climbing over one barrier to get to the HOV lanes when he fell about 30 feet into the creek. He suffered severe head injuries in the fall.

From the Ithaca Journal via an article by Liz Lawyer and Megan Goldschmidt:

 A firefighter and paramedic, formerly of Ithaca, died Thursday after falling from a highway overpass while responding to a car fire in northern Virginia.

Joshua Weissman, 33, of Bristow, Va., a firefighter for the Alexandria Fire Department, responded to a car fire on Interstate 395 Wednesday night in Shirlington, Va. State police said two cement barriers with a 3-foot gap between separate the lanes.

Weissman fell 30 feet to the creek below the interstate. He was pulled from the creek by fellow firefighters and taken to Washington Hospital Center, where he died late Thursday afternoon of a severe head injury, Alexandria Fire Department officials said.

Weissman was a seven-year veteran of the Alexandria Fire Department. Fire officials say the last time an employee was seriously injured while on duty was 15 years ago.

Weissman worked at one time for Bangs Ambulance as a first responder. He joined the Cayuga Heights Fire Department as a teenager.

Cayuga Heights Fire Chief George Tamborelle described Weissman as dedicated to the profession. He even met his wife at the fire department.

"He was completely dedicated to helping others from the time he was 16," Tamborelle said. "All he's wanted to do was be a firefighter and a paramedic, and he's done that."

Thursday morning, Tamborelle said, "Josh is absolutely caring; you have to know Josh to really understand it. He is really a friend. He'd do anything for anybody. I know you say that about people, but with Josh it's so true. I probably wouldn't be chief if it wasn't for him."

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Comments - Add Yours

  • Fire21

    I am so heartbroken to learn of Joshua's passing.  May God have mercy on his soul, and may he rest in peace.  I pray for his family, friends and co-workers that they remember him well.

  • Sharppointy1

    RIP Paramedic Weissman. Thank you for your service.  May God hold your family and friends close at this terrible time.  May his memory be for a blessing.

  • ED


    • Anonymous

      he worked for alexandria fire dept  not dcfd

      • http://msn retiredin sc

        Read it again ,bud, it is from the medics and ems of dcfd/ems

  • Anonymous


  • ACFD E102

    Rest in Peace, Brother!
    Our thoughts and prayers are with the family and the Brothers and Sisters in the Alexandria Fire Department.
    Arlington County Fire Department

  • the ear

    R.I.P. Brother

  • Charles Gluck

    As a Professional Firefighter, we face death constantly, I never thought about it much until I had to stop a comfort a fellow firefighter's family. I mourn this brothers and the accident that took him. I hope his family heals quickly. He will be in our hearts forever. I will pray for you and your family.

  • Robby O

    RIP Brother….we will take it from here

  • Gina Flynn

    As the wife of a firefighter my heart breaks as a member of the family is lost. May God give comfort to the family and friends and coworker of this young man. You will all be in my prayers.

  • http://facebook Gina Flynn

    As the wife of a firefighter my heart breaks as a member of the family is lost. May God comfort to the family,friends and coworker of this young man. You will be in my prayers.

  • ukfbbuff

    From California
    My condolences to the Family, Friends and Co-workers of FF/PM Joshua Weissman.

  • Charles Davis

    Josh,  your warm smile and kind hearted nature will never be forgotten. Your bed side manner and patient care was unsurpassed. Kind hearted souls are never lost or forgotten but merely transitioned to the comforting hands of the creator.
    May the peace of God bring comfort to your family in the knowledge that your expertise and kindness touched so many.
    God bless you and your family,     Ret. Lt. C.Davis

  • Pingback: Morning Lineup – February 10 | Firegeezer()

  • Science Guy

    It is sad to hear the passing of Paramedic Weismann. While thinking about the situation and trying to learn from such a tragedy, around 1100 in the press conference, situational awareness if mentioned. I wounder what their SOP is about acrossing a span like that. Was their a north/south dispatch to cover both directions of the roadway and when you end up on the opposite side of the event, what is the SOP about reaching the other side. As always, this is something to learn from and hpefully the after action report will be distributed.

  • scba272

    RIP from the South Jersey brothers

  • Stuart

    so sad. I feel for his family and his family at work. It is a sad day for all of us.

  • PGFD

    Rest in Peace from across the Potomac

  • PGFD

    RIP from your Brothers in PG

  • S.A. Baynard

    They put their lives at risk every day for us and are grossly underpaid.  When we lose one of our heroes, like Josh Weissman, we grieve for a while.  But what we really should do is remember every day, just for a moment, the people who are always there for us.  When time comes for city budgets to be debated (everywhere, not just Alexandria), let's remember Josh then, and show how we love and value these courageous men and women.  No compensation is enough for those who put their lives on the  line for the community, but at least we can do better.  May Josh's beautiful soul rest in peace.

  • http://msn retiredin sc

    R.I.P. Brother, May God bless you and  keep you ,your family and friends in his hands of comfort you at this time of pain.

  • PG County

    Rest Easy, from your Fire/EMS brothers in PG County