San Diego Local Community News

It was 2021, and wildfires raged through the County. High winds were pointing the terrifying flames towards Tierrasanta when Station #39, Tierrasanta’s local firehouse, received a call that a car had driven into a house. At the scene, they discovered the driver in the midst of a heart attack. The firefighters stepped into action, providing medical care and emergency vehicle accident care, all while facing one of the biggest fires the County has ever seen.

Days like these are why Tierrasantans love their Fire Station #39. Although considered one of the smallest firehouses in San Diego, the love for the crew at #39 is BIG!

“We’re the only station within close range of thousands of homes and businesses, so when anything happens in this area, we are the ones to respond,” explained Captain Will McLaughlin, Fire Station #39’s leader. With the closest other firehouses by Montgomery Field and Snapdragon Stadium in Mission Valley, Station #39 plays a critical, and almost solo role, in protecting Tierrasanta.

Captain McLaughlin calls the local support of the Station “almost unrivaled.” He shared the story of a local business owner, “TK,” who raised enough money to renovate the Station’s front yard. And the story of Tierrasantan “Glenn” and his wife, who bring donuts to the Fire Station the first Sunday of every month.

The Tierrasanta Town Council reserves spots for Station #39 at all eight “Concerts at the Park” at the Community Center each summer.

Boy Scouts of America, sponsored by the Hall family, have made Christmas Eve dinner for Station #39 every year for the past 23 years, and often make Thanksgiving dinner too. They provided 22 pies one recent Thanksgiving, causing McLaughlin to joke that “some might still be in the freezer.”

Built on the former location of Camp Elliott in 1976, Station #39 also has a strong relationship and a shared history with the military.

Fireman, driver, engineer and self-proclaimed “army brat,” Eli Majors, shared the story of a huge honor received by Station #39 – being gifted a “challenge coin” from Medal of Honor recipient Robert J. Modrzejewski. “It’s not every day that you get to know a Medal of Honor recipient on a first-name basis,” said Majors. “It was pretty cool.”

Tierrasanta’s love of Station #39 is definitely returned. The Station’s crew regularly visits schools to talk about fire safety, and also offers Station tours to organizations, schools and families.

Their Cadet Program offers young adults the opportunity to experience life at Station #39. Cadets learn how to clean equipment, throw ladders, tie ropes, perform drills and experience daily life at the Station. This can often lead to a career choice as a firefighter or EMT.

Through more than 40 years of fires, accidents, medical emergencies, and so much more, Tierrasantans continue to love and admire the selfless dedication of the crew at tiny Station #39.

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