Skip to comments.A Tribute to 9/11 Victim David M. Weiss, FDNY
Posted on 09/08/2006 12:59:46 PM PDT by Alice in Wonderland
Rescue 1, which was the first rescue company established in the entire United States, fights fires underground, pries people from high-rise elevators and pulls them from burning buildings. Their response area extends more than 100 Manhattan blocks. The men of FDNYs elite Rescue 1 unit are specialists, called in to fight the unusual fires, free trapped firefighters, and save lives. One minute, theyre inside a high-rent high rise thats spewing scalding steam onto Wall Street. The next, theyre racing uptown to a help a homeless man living under a bridge who has been hit by a train. They were heroes long before Sept. 11th.
During the summer of 2001, a television show called "The Bravest" shot almost 100 hours of tape, capturing everyday acts of courage by the men of Rescue 1. "Lots of heroic deeds are done here. Lots of heroic stuff thats never said. More heroic than anything you can imagine," said Rescue 1 member Dave Weiss on one of those tapes. "I was born for fire fighting. Im a legend. Ever since I was a kid, I knew what I wanted to do. Organized chaos is a fire situation and you cant beat the action in Manhattan. The emergency work. The fires. The buildings. You dont find this anywhere in the world."
On firefighter George Healy's first night on the job at Rescue 1, he was assigned to a long vigil at a Madison Avenue building whose facade had collapsed. A fellow fireman, who recognized that Healy was tired, offered to finish his shift for him. Healy was reluctant, but David Weiss insisted, citing his seniority. When Healy returned to the station, he learned that Weiss had no authority to send him home. "He had Weissed me," Healy said, using a phrase coined by fellow members of Rescue 1 to describe Weiss' mischievous but good-hearted antics.
Weiss, a New York City firefighter, was built like a fireplug. He stood 5-foot-9 and weighed 225 pounds. He was all muscle, with biceps as big as the thigh of a medium-build woman. He was bulldozer strong. He looked as tough as he sounded. His head was shaved and his body was covered in tattoos. He rode a Harley.
Born and raised in Freeport, NY, he joined the Freeport Fire Dept. in 1978 and the Ironworker's Union Local 580 in New York City. He was appointed to FDNY in 1989 and became a member of the elite Rescue Company 1 after receiving the Emily Trevor-Mary B. Warren Medal for Heroism, in 1997 having rescued a man from the East River. A man's car careered off the FDR Drive and plunged into the East River. Dave, off duty, stopped his car, climbed down the iron trestles of the elevated highway and jumped into the river to rescue the driver, whose heart had given out. He just jumped, knowing that he was the person's only hope. In addition, during his 12-year career, Weiss was a recipient of other awards including The Fire Fighter's Quarterly Man Of The Year Award in 1993. He also received the New York City Transit Award.
David Martin Weiss, 41, of Maybrook, NY was declared missing on September 11, 2001 at the World Trade Center Tower One. A memorial service was held at Central Synagogue, NYC on September 30, 2001. He is survived by his children, Michael and Alissa.
Today we mourn for those lost on 911. Tonight at the Washingtonville, NY memorial I will say a prayer for Mr. Weiss and all those heroes we lost that day. May they rest in peace. And may we never forget.
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