The City of Cottonwood is pleased to announce that Ron Sauntman has been selected to succeed Fire Chief Mike Kuykendall. Chief Kuykendall will retire in October with more than 30 years of service to the City of Cottonwood. Chief Sauntman will begin his position on October 12, 2020.
Sauntman has more than 20 years of experience in fire service. His career began with what was the Camp Verde Fire Department (now the Copper Canyon Fire and Medical Department), where he rose through the ranks. He went on to become an Emergency Management Planner with Yavapai County and then an Enhanced Incident Management Lead Instructor with Texas A&M University. He returned to the area in 2018 and began serving as the Emergency Manager for Yavapai County. Throughout his career, he trained incoming firefighters through Camp Verde High School and Yavapai College. He also serves the Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office SWAT Team as a tactical medic, and the Phoenix International Raceway as a firefighter.
Sauntman’s field experience is coupled with extensive education, including a Bachelor of Science in Emergency Management, and a Master of Science in Executive Fire Service Leadership and Disaster Preparedness. He earned both of these degrees from Grand Canyon University. He is also a certified Live Fire Instructor and an alum of the National Fire Academy.
The City has tremendous gratitude for Chief Kuykendall—he will be missed by everyone who has had the pleasure of working with him. We are excited to welcome Chief Sauntman and look forward to this new chapter at the Cottonwood Fire Department. For more information, please contact Amanda Wilber at firstname.lastname@example.org or 928-340-2713.