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 1989 Fire Department roster included: Dave Shears, Kevin Kaschmitter, Rod Behler, Don Nuxoll, Mike Sonnen, Denis Duman, Gary Riener, Morris Arnzen, Mike Lerandeau, Mike Nuxoll, Pat Long, Bob Michels, Joe Seubert, Bill Schumacher, Tom Sonnen, Ken Stubbers, Gary Blakeman, Ron Grant, and Jack Duman.
January 17, 2000 – “Elections were held. Nominations were made for Rod Behler for Chief, Greg Sonnen for Asst. Chief, and Denis Duman for Secretary/ Treasurer. All were elected by unanimous ballot. The Chief then appointed Brian Latimer to be a Captain on the Department. John Kaschmitter was elected Sergeant-of-Arms in absentia.”
January 16, 1933 – “A yearly treasury report was given showing that all bills were paid and the Department has a balance of ten dollars.”
June 22, 1942 – “The Fire Department is in receipt of two gas masks, lately acquired at a cost of $29.86 for the masks plus express of $1.28 for a total of $31.14, paid by Fire Department.”
April 20, 1953 – “The Chief gave the Secretary hell for not calling the firemen as to the location of the old truck during Community Hall Day. The Secretary apologized.”
August 21, 1958 – “Discussion was held concerning the possibility of replacing the Department’s 1936 model tanker truck. W. Ruhoff reported the Village Council had about $2,500 available toward the purchase of a good used replacement truck. The Department also has about $1,200 available making a total of approximately $4,200 for such a purchase.”
July 21, 2003 – “Ron Grant reported that the $37,000 grant has been awarded to the Department to purchase SCBAs, training and equipment. It was decided to purchase another used fire engine with the $105,000 grant.”
Fires & Emergency Response
May 18, 1959 – “Report of fire at Berklund sawmill was read and mistakes made by volunteers were noted. Chief Les Reed and the Captains discussed these errors to avoid repeating them at any future fires.”
June 19, 1995 – “We discussed the grain elevator fire at Fenn. It was agreed that protocol was followed and the response was successful.”
In 1999, the Fire Department responded to 29 fire calls.
July 18, 2005 – “We reviewed the last extrication call. The vehicle rolled 221 feet. Access to it was very difficult and problems were experienced in stabilizing the car. We need to acquire some special struts for stabilization.”