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Posted at 10:51 AM ET, 02/16/2012

Mourners gather for funeral of Alexandria paramedic

[This post has been updated]

First responders and other mourners gathered in Alexandria Thursday for the funeral of paramedic Joshua Weissman, who died last week after falling from an overpass on I-395.

The seven-year veteran of the Alexandria Fire Department died Feb. 9, the day after he tried to reach a burning vehicle and fell through a gap in the pavement over Four Mile Run.

Services began at 1 p.m. at Beth El Hebrew Congregation (3830 Seminary Rd.). The burial will follow at Ivy Hill Cemetery (2823 King St., Alexandria).

Hundreds of first responders arrayed in formation along the edges of Seminary Road waiting for a solemn procession. A fire engine carried Weissman’s flag-draped coffin as bag pipers played and mourners filed into the temple on a rainy afternoon.

[Funeral and procession will have widespread traffic impacts]

Pallbearers leave the synagogue bearing the coffin of fallen Alexandria paramedic Joshua Weissman. (John McDonnell - THE WASHINGTON POST)
While hundreds of mourners gathered in the synagogue for the funeral of Weissman, 33, hundreds more were seated outside under 10 tents where they viewed the ceremony on flat-panel televisions.

Alexander Fire Chief Adam K. Thiel remembered Weissman as a leader who was “always positive, always optimistic.”

First responders from Alexandria are out of service until 7 p.m. Friday so that personnel can attend the funeral and mourn the loss of their comrade. Other jurisdictions are staffing Alexandria’s fire houses.

On Twitter mourners are expressing their condolences using #LODDJWeissman.

By Luz Lazo  |  10:51 AM ET, 02/16/2012

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