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Posted at 04:16 PM ET, 02/14/2012

Alexandria firefighters to be off during funeral, schools to dismiss early

As part of Alexandria’s plans to honor a paramedic killed in the line of duty last week, the command staff and all first responders in the Alexandria Fire Department will be out of service for two days.

First responders from Arlington and Fairfax will staff Alexandria’s fire houses during that time, according to Chief Fire Marshal Robert Rodriguez of the Alexandria Fire Department.

From Wednesday night until Friday night, the department’s first responders will be attending a viewing and funeral for Joshua Weissman, who was killed Feb. 8 while responding to a car fire on Interstate 395.

“Our regional partners will come in and fill our stations and run our calls just like we normally do,” Rodriguez said. “While the public will see different-colored trucks and uniforms, they won’t see any difference in care or response for service.”

Rodriguez said fire fighters and paramedics in Alexandria, Arlington and Fairfax regularly respond to calls in each other’s jurisdictions, so he does not anticipate a break in service.

The Alexandria Fire Department has 265 employees, but will need about 90 personnel from neighboring counties to fill the two 24-hour shifts, from 7 p.m. Wednesday until 7 p.m. Friday, Rodriguez said.

Additionally, Alexandria City Public Schools will dismiss early Thursday because of expected high traffic volume.

George Washington and Hammond Middle schools, Minnie Howard School, T.C. Williams High School and Douglas McArthur Elementary will dismiss at 12:35 p.m.

All remaining elementary schools will dismiss at 1:20 p.m. The city has coordinated after-school care for those students. Parents and care givers are asked to contact individual schools for more details.

The city is encouraging people to avoid the area of the funeral or expect long delays.

A visitation for Weissman is scheduled for Wednesday from 5 p.m. until midnight at the Everly-Wheatley Funeral Home, 1500 West Braddock Road, Alexandria.

The funeral will be Thursday at 1 p.m. at Beth El Hebrew Congregation, 3830 Seminary Road, Alexandria.

There is limited seating, and guests are asked to sign up here if they plan to attend.

Condolences and donations can be sent to: The Joshua A. Weissman Memorial Fund, c/o Alexandria Firefighters, Inc - IAFF Local 2141, 4600 Duke Street, Suite 429, Alexandria, VA 22304.

Read more: The Post’s public safety coverage

By  |  04:16 PM ET, 02/14/2012

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