image of station 42

Just off I-15 on World Trade Drive, Station 42 in Carmel Mountain Ranch was built in 1988. It’s a single-engine fire station with four firefighters. There has been a lot of growth and development in their district since then. And, because San Diego Fire-Rescue has a “boundary drop” agreement where the closest available fire engine responds to an emergency regardless of city boundaries, Engine 42 often goes into Poway or the Rancho Santa Fe Fire District. It’s also the second-in engine on any first alarm in Rancho Bernardo.

Perhaps more than any other fire station in the city, it would be easy to drive past Station 42 and not know that it is a fire station. When the apparatus doors are closed, it could easily be just another house in the neighborhood.

That is not the only way, of course, that Station 42 is in the neighborhood. Captain Tuan Dinh has been at the station for nearly three years, and he thinks it’s great being part of this community.



For the past year, of course, they have not been out and about at community events or been able to open their doors for station visits. But that hasn’t completely shut them out. The crews have gone to a few “drive-by” birthday parties. It is one of the few things they have been able to do during COVID that they wouldn’t do otherwise. Like the rest of us, the firefighters at Station 42 are looking forward to getting back to normal.

“The residents here love us,” Dinh says. “They say hello when we are out, and some people will come up to us at a store and say ‘thank you.’ Recently a woman approached us when we were grocery shopping and said we saved her life. I remembered that call, and we talked for a bit. It’s a good feeling. We don’t often get to find out the outcome of medical calls.”

Station 42 has another distinction. A retired fire dispatch supervisor owns a Greek restaurant that’s almost right across the street. He will occasionally drop by with dinner for the fire crew. You can’t beat that.


The June Station of the Month is sponsored by Farmers Insurance Agent Johnny Fitzmaurice.

image of farmers insurance agent