David Martin Weiss, a New York City firefighter, was built like a fire-plug. He stood 5-foot-10 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 drove Harleys.
He was an ironworker before he became a firefighter 13 years ago. He blended both experiences to become a member of the Fire Department's elite force. He joined Rescue Company 1 in Times Square about six years ago after receiving a medal for a rescue attempt - a man's car careered off Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive and plunged into the East River. Mr. Weiss, 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," said Thor Johannnesen, a firefighter.
Mr. Weiss, 41, of Maybrook, NY, had a mean sense of humor, "If he saw a thread, he knew how to pull it to unravel the whole shirt," said Joel Kanasky, another firefighter. "He was the king of that."
—The New York Times, November 4, 2001, "All Muscle and Heart"