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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