VIRGINIA

Alexandria Fire Department honors paramedic Joshua Weissman

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(AP, WJLA) - The Alexandria Fire Department will go out of service for 48 hours to honor a paramedic killed last week in the line of duty.

Students from Hammond Middle School in Alexandria gathered at the fire station across Seminary Road on Wednesday morning to honor Weissman. (Photo: Jummy Olabanji)

Joshua Weissman, 33, from Bristow died last week when he fell off an overpass on Interstate 395 responding to a call.

From Wednesday night through Friday night, the 265 members of the fire department will be out of service while visitation and funeral services are held for Weissman. Neighboring jurisdictions will field calls during the two-day period; city officials expect no disruption of service.

Fellow firefighters from across the region, Weissman's family and friends gathered at the Everly Wheatly funeral home for his visitation Wednesday night on the eve of his funeral Thursday.

For six hours, people filed in to pay their respects. His family still seemed in disbelief.

"If it's possible to take something positive out of something so tragic, it would be how thankful we feel that there are people like Josh who are unflinchingly there in the most trying of times for those they know and those they don't. All of us should be thankful for those like him," said his brother Gabe Weissman.

Fellow members of his firefighting family remembered their fallen brother.

"We will continue to do everything we can for josh's family, supporting each other as well as supporting the community," said Fire Marshal Robert Rodriguez.

Firefighter John Vollmer said he'll miss the lovable wit of Weissman the most. His sense of humor landed him an instant nickname that still sticks today.

"The look about him just reminded us of Flounder from Animal House so we had a blast with it and it stuck," Vollmer said. "He was a great, great kid."

Earlier on Wednesday, a 6th Grade class at Hammond Middle School across from Weissman's Braddock Road fire station, brought cards to pay their respects to the fallen first responder.

"I think it's a great learning experience for the students to pay tribute to someone who served the community," said teacher Eric Grutza.

City schools are letting out early on Thursday and city officials are warning of massive traffic tie-ups Thursday afternoon near Seminary Road related to the funeral procession.

The roads impacted by the funeral and procession include:

-Janney's Lane from King Street to Quaker Lane
-Seminary Road from Quaker Lane to Van Dorn Street
-Van Dorn Street from Seminary Road to Braddock Road
-Braddock Road from Van Dorn Street to King Street
-King Street from Braddock Road and Quaker Lane to Russell Road

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