there's smoke, there's fire"
July 11, 2007 will mark the 100 year anniversary of the formation of the Cottonwood Volunteer Fire Department. The following are some excerpts from meeting minutes and records of the department throughout the years. There will be more history published each week prior to the anniversary.
Fire Department Members
The 1966 Fire Department Roster included: Les Reed, Fritz Nuttman, Bud Sager, Bill Nuxoll, Walt Ruhoff, Urbie Riener, Al Kaus, Dick Schultz, Mark Tacke, Don Hoene, Bernie Seubert, Fred Behler, Dave Gehring, Harold Duman, Vic Gehring, Willie Mader, Rich Becker, Cliff Holthaus, and Jim Toennis.
June 17,1939 – “After a short debate, it was decided that the Department turn out one evening to air out the hydrants all over the city in order to assure that they be found in working order when needed and to wash out any silt and dirt that may hinder a 100% smooth operation. This aforementioned move was also calculated to acquaint the Department as to locations of hydrants in their nocturnal dashes.”
December 15, 1941 – “Discussions of blackout and air raid alarms were held at length. The Department established a temporary system of signals until a uniform or general system of signals is issued. For the present, five short blasts will signify the warning alarm or beginning of a blackout and one long blast will be the all-clear to cease the blackout.”
March 10, 1947 – “Following the installation of the new hose, the boys were treated to a cup of coffee at the Stockman’s Bar. A check was issued for $1.00 against the Department for the treat.”
December 19, 1960 – “The Department considered the purchase of a brand new engine with a 750 gpm capacity pump for a cost of $11,000 to $12,000. The trade-in value of the present 1941 pumper was estimated at $4,500.”
September 19, 1995 – “Bob Michels moved to pay the bills, but there weren’t any.”
October 20, 1997 – “”Greg Sonnen said no way he would be Secretary/Treasurer. Issue remains unresolved.”
Fires & Emergency Response
February 28, 1944 – “The Fire Department voted to thank Leo Schultz for gift of $5.00 following the fire at the Dairy Products plant.”
August 12, 1947 – “Discussion was held as to whether the Department should give permission to Fred Funke to burn the rest of his fire damaged home. It was moved and seconded that no one be issued a permit to burn during fire season.”
January, 1988 – “The 1987 summary of fires to the Rural Fire District reported charges of $280 for 11 fires and the use of 4 men at each.”
November 21, 2005 – “We discussed the Pacific Cabinets fire and the extrication at Greencreek.”
Fighting the Henry Remacle house fire.
The Cottonwood Fire Department was able to come up with identifications (and a better quality photo) to go with this picture of the department in 1977. From left are Joe Harrison, Tom Riener, Everett Sonnen, Rich Beckman, Fritz Nuttman, Fred Behler, Rich Becker, Bernie Seubert, Willie Mader, Harold Bruegeman, Cliff Holthaus, Laurens VanEngelen, George Todd, Gary Chaffee, Steve Uhlorn and Kevin Kaschmitter.