This is the scene at Fire Station 206 at the intersection of Seminary Road & N Pickett St in the City of Alexandria, which is located just around the corner from our home. The ambulance draped in black, along with flowers and a photo are all in tribute to Paramedic Joshua Weissman, who passed away on Thursday after suffering injuries in the line of duty the previous evening.
According to the Fire Department and numerous news sources, Weissman's EMT unit was responding to a car fire in the HOV lane near the intersection of I-395 and Glebe Road around 6:30 pm on Wednesday. Because the HOV lanes had shifted to a Southbound flow and Station 206 is located south of the scene, the vehicle was in the Northbound local lanes when it came upon the fire. In attempting to reach the vehicle, Weissman attempted to cross gap between the two roadways of roughly 3 feet, but instead fell 20 feet to the rocky creek below. He was rescued from the Four Mile Run and taken via Medivac to Washington Hospital Center where he succumbed to his injuries. He is survived by his wife Rebecca.
Unfortunately, I did not notice this last night as I drove past last night on the way home, but when I took my son to preschool this morning it was unmistakable. It is a vivid reminder of the risks associates with the choice to serve others when they are the most in need. To Joshua's wife, we keep you in our thoughts & prayers at this most troubling of times.
As a side note and remberance of the summer, there is a fantastic open house at this station with a real fire house for the kids... and every year I have to drag my son away from it. If the fantastic members of the firehouse let him have his way, he would flood Seminary Valley and run up one heck of a water bill.