The Cottonwood Volunteer Department serves a primary response area of near 45 square miles with an approximate population of 5,000. The area is a mix of suburban communities with light commercial structures and extensive woodlands and agricultural use. State Highway 53 bisects the territory with heavy truck and passenger car traffic.

No records or evidence of a fire department exist prior to 1946.  A photo provides information that in that year Cottonwood bought a 1913 American LaFrance pumper from the City of Dothan. It shows then Chief of Police L.A. "Red" Granger, Jr. and citizen Lamar Kelly on the truck. A second engine (1923 American LaFrance) was also bought from Dothan around 1962. In 1964 the fire department was reconstructed under the leadership of Fire Chief James A. Hughes. The town bought its first new fire engine, a 1964 Chevrolet custom built pumper.

The Cottonwood Fire Department maintains more than 20 active volunteer members. These personnel are dispatched by the Houston County 9-1-1 Center using computer aided dispatch via tone encoded radio and automatic text paging. All members are issued portable multi-channel radios. Each apparatus is equipped with a multi-channel UHF radio. The department also has capabilities of direct communications state and local EMA offices and with Jackson County Florida Fire & Rescue and AirHeart Air Ambulance which has a base in Marianna, Florida.

The fire department averages over 120 calls for service annually. The department operates three pumpers, one brush truck, and one tanker. The department provides structural fire suppression, woodland fire suppression, and response to motor vehicle crashes with basic life support, extrication capabilities, and defensive hazardous materials operations. The Cottonwood Fire Department provides routine automatic and mutual aid to the Fire Departments of Madrid, Lovetown, Lucy, Hodgesville, and Lucy as well as areas in nearby Jackson County Florida. In the event of a grass or a woodland fire in the area, Cottonwood Fire is initially dispatched to suppress the fire or to call for the Alabama Forestry Commission if special equipment is needed.

The current I.S.O. (Insurance Services Organization) rating for this department is 5 /9. Insured property within 5 road miles of the station and within 1000 feet of a fire hydrant are covered under the "5" rating. The "9" is areas in our territory but are farther from the station and with a limited or no water source available.

Fire Chief: Johnny Mims

Non-Emergency Number: 334.691.3112

Dispatch Center: 334.677.4808

Emergency Number: 911

Fire Department Email: