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Firefighters from across the country gathered in Alexandria today with family and friends to pay tribute to Joshua Weissman.
An Alexandria, Va., paramedic who died on duty last week was remembered Thursday as a hero who always wanted to be a paramedic.
Joshua Weissman, 33, of Bristow, first volunteered at a fire station in New York when he was 16. He even met his wife, Becky, at a fire station, News4's Jane Watrel reported.
"It seems that there was a magnet that pulled Josh toward disatrous situations, but that was fine with him, as he wanted to be in the action," Cantor Sharon Steinberg said. "With each horrible scenario he met, he attended his patients with expert medical care and most of all compassion."
At his funeral Thursday, Weissman's brother read a heartfelt letter from Weissman's wife.
"I am going to miss his love for all things sugar-based, from Red Hot Fire Balls and Big League Chew to homemade icing and cookie dough, even if it led to the occassional case of salmonela poisoning," Gabriel Weissman read.
Weissman's partner broke down when she spoke about him.
"A wonderful storyteller, he always made us laugh from the bottom of our hearts," Kelsea Bonkowski said. "He is not here to do that now, so it is up to us to pass on his stories. No worries, Joshua, we'll take it from here."
Weissman died after he fell off an overpass on Interstate 395 while responding to a call. The funeral was held at 1 p.m. Thursday at Beth El Hebrew Congregation on Seminary Road, followed by burial at Ivy Hill Cemetery on King Street.
Several Alexandria streets were closed intermittently and city schools dismissed early. Officials warned of massive traffic tie-ups near Seminary Road related to the services. All roads have reopened.
The Alexandria Fire Department will be out of service until 7 p.m. Friday to honor Weissman. Surrounding jurisdictions will staff the city's fire houses.