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Remembering Alexandria Paramedic Joshua Weissman

Rep. James P. Moran

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Mr. Speaker, it is with a heavy heart that I enter into the Record the passing of Paramedic Joshua Weissman. Paramedic Weissman was born in Ithaca, New York, lived in Bristow, Virginia with his wife Rebecca and worked for the City of Alexandria.

While responding to a car fire on I 395 last week, Paramedic Weissman had a tragic fall from the roadway, down an embankment, where he suffered a severe head injury.

City of Alexandria and Arlington County firefighters, paramedics, and police responded immediately, rushing to the scene. Despite their valiant efforts, and those by the medical team at the Washington Hospital Center, Paramedic Weissman's injuries proved fatal. It was a great loss for the Weissman family and the entire Alexandria community.

Mr. Weissman served as a paramedic for the City for nearly six years. In that time, he compiled a record of outstanding performance ratings as an enthusiastic, energetic and engaging instructor who took great pleasure providing innovation to the work of his department.

Joshua was very active in a variety of career-related organizations that interacted with the community and honed his abilities. He was a regular participant in, and member of, the EMS Training Committee, the EMS Quality Management Committee--where he was in charge of the Call of the Quarter Submissions--and the EMS 1/5/10/20 Committee. Josh was also instrumental in the establishment of the Field Training Program for EMS Interns, receiving the Alexandria Jaycees Award in 2011 for his contributions to that effort.

Josh's reputation as a top paramedic was well known. Numerous letters to his department commending his work from members of the Alexandria community are testament to that fact. In one instance, Josh responded to a home incident in which a grandmother, carrying her young grandson, tripped and fell. The boy's mother, upon arriving home after the incident, was concerned with the medical status of her son. Josh went out of his way to revisit the home to reassure the little boy's mother that he had been thoroughly checked out during the initial response, thus alleviating the mother's concerns and an unnecessary and likely expensive trip to the hospital. The mother was so impressed by Josh's concern that she wrote a letter to the Fire Chief expressing her appreciation. That's the way Josh lived day in, day out, going the extra mile to serve those in need.

Mr. Speaker, Joshua Weissman made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty. His untimely death is a loss to the entire community. Not only was he an outstanding paramedic, Joshua was also a dedicated family member, coworker, and friend. Paramedic Weissman's service will not be forgotten. He has left us a legacy of honor, kindness, and bravery.