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Chainsaws--Policies or Tips?

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  • Chainsaws--Policies or Tips?

    I'm looking at outfitting our brush trucks and our Gator with chainsaws. We had a significant ice storm about 2 years ago, and the deadfall has been (and will continue to be) a problem.

    Looking at clearing little-used roads for access, cutting up downing trees/limbs to move them away from the fire perimeter, or occassionally downing a snag burning near the fire perimeter.

    Anybody got a policy on training or use? How about some real-world tips on use and safety?

    Bryan Beall
    Silver City, Oklahoma USA

  • #2
    look into taking the NWCG course S-212 Wildland chainsaws, it's a good, in-depth course, runs about 3 days or so, class room, breaking down and maintaining saws, then a practical day of falling trees. make sure you get the proper PPE (hard hat, gloves, goggles/safety glasses, hearing protection, and saw chaps)
    consider making up a kit for each saw you have (saw, spare bars (you may want a shorter one, in addition) spare chains, tools, wedges, files (matched to your chain) gas can, bar oil, 2-cycle oil, spare starter rope & spark plug)

    as for policy, in my agency, no one is supposed to use a chain saw (Faller) unless they have taken and passed S-212, you can assist (swamper). we carry kits on our transports and brush trucks like I mentioned, for use on wildfires or clearing debris from storms (Hurricanes, etc.)
    "If you can't be a good example, the you'll just have to be a terrible warning."


    • #3
      Bryan, here is the NWCG catalog.

      Page 2 has the ordering info, and you can order the course for your dept. They do NOT accept phone orders though, so you have to do it this way, but the course materials are just a bit over $10, not including s/h.

      Or call over to Black Kettle National Grasslands, they have a certified instructor there... ask for Robby.
      Stopping controlled burning DOES NOT stop the burning, only the control!


      • #4
        Thanks guys, that's what I was looking for.

        If anybody has any other pointers, I'd like to hear them.
        Bryan Beall
        Silver City, Oklahoma USA


        • #5
          Chain saws

          Under no circumstances are chain saws to be loaned to members including the chief and his rels. It only takes a fraction of a second to stuff the chain and bar.

          Sharpen chains with a manual file rather than high speed grinders as the high speed grinders burn the metal and destroy the temper on the cutting surface.
          These views are my own and not of either my brigade or any other organisation.


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