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Firefighter Injured in Fall

Alexandria firefighter John Vollmer received several hairline fractures to the head after he tumbled from a fire engine Monday night.

Vollmer, 34, was enroute from Station 206 on Seminary Road to a call at 4620 Kenmore Ave., when the door of the engine suddenly opened while rounding a corner. As the engine turned right onto Kenmore Ave., Vollmer, who was sitting in the back seat of the cab, fell to the pavement. His head struck the roadway, suffering injuries including bruises and abrasions to other parts of his body.

Fire officials said they were not sure if Vollmer was wearing his helmut at the time but said it was not unusual for firefighters to not wear helmuts inside the cab.

Vollmer, a 15-year veteran of the department, was medivaced by MedStar helicopter to the Washington Hospital Center for treatment. The helicopter landing zone was established at Minnie Howard School on West Braddock Road.

Vollmer was conscious, alert and oriented at the time of transport, according to fire department officials. Department officials said they were not sure why the door opened at that time but that a safety committee was investigating the cause.

Vollmer was diagnosed with hairline fractures to the skull but x-rays showed no other breaks. He was moved from the ICU on Tuesday and was expected to be released from the hospital by Thursday.