Tributes paid to fallen Va. paramedic
Joshua Weissman, 33, who suffered severe head injury in 30-foot fall, was described as 'committed, dedicated, professional, to the end'
By EMS1 Staff
Duty Death: Joshua Weissman - [Alexandria, Virginia]
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Tributes are being paid to the Va. paramedic who died after falling from an overpass into a creek Wednesday night.
Joshua Weissman, 33, who was hired as a Medic I for the Alexandria Fire Department in April 2006 and was promoted to Medic II the following year, suffered a severe head injury in the 30-foot fall.
He was transported to the Washington Hospital Center Trauma Unit, but his injuries proved to be fatal.
Alexandria Chief Adam K. Thiel, FireRescue1's Editorial Advisor, told local media, "This is a day of great sadness for all of us in the Alexandria Fire Department."
Chief Thiel described Weissman as "committed, dedicated, professional, to the end."
Weissman received many letters from members of the Alexandria community commending him for his work and effectiveness, according to a department news release.
In one situation, for example, Weissman had responded to a home incident in which a grandmother who had been carrying her young grandson had tripped and fallen.
The boy’s mother, upon arriving home after the incident, was concerned with the medical status of her son. Weissman revisited the home and reassured the mother that he had thoroughly checked the little boy during the initial response, thus alleviating the mother’s concerns.
The mother was so impressed by the paramedic's concern that she wrote a letter to Chief Thiel expressing her appreciation for his actions.
In a statement, authorities said Weissman was trying to reach a burning vehicle by “climbing over the cement barrier along I-395 when he fell through a gap and into Four Mile Creek, 30 feet below the interstate."
Funeral arrangements are pending.
"The department has not only lost an outstanding employee and paramedic, but a dedicated co-worker and friend," said a department statement.