Weather Alert:

Debris Management Chainsaw Safety Training

Chainsaw operations on a normal day can be dangerous. When trees are bent, snapped, or tangled in piles of debris because of a weather incident, hazards are increased significantly. With the frequency of tornados and hurricanes affecting western Massachusetts in recent years, highway crews and firefighters are being called on more and more to clear debris from roads. Chainsaw safety skills are essential to first responder safety during debris management response.

This training series consists of two training modules: Chainsaw Skills & Safety and After the Storm.

In Chainsaw Skills & Safety, students will learn about basic safety equipment and PPE, a saw’s reactive forces, chain tooth parts, and practice felling, notching, hinging and other cutting techniques and calculations. This is a two-day, 16-hour course. Students must attend both complete days. The training is physically demanding, a morning of classroom learning on the first day, followed by field work in the afternoon and full in-field day on Day 2. Students must self assess their ability to meet these demands. This course is a pre-requisite for After the Storm training.

In After the Storm, students will build on the skills learned in the chainsaw skills & safety class. Additionally, students will learn techniques to relieve pressure commonly found in storm-damaged trees. Topics include hazards, spring poles, hangers and leaners, pulls and splits and others. This is a one-day, 8-hour training. Only students who have completed the Chainsaw Skills & Safety class are eligible. This training is physically demanding, all day in the field. Students must self-assess their ability to meet course demands.

This training is appropriate for Highway, Department of Public Works and Fire Personnel. The trainings are free and food will be provided.

Two separate sessions of Chainsaw Skills & Safety will be held. The first session will be held on Friday and Saturday, April 26 & 27, 2019, at Cummington Fire Department. The second session will be held on Tuesday & Wednesday, April 30 and May 1, at Forest Park, Springfield. Class time is 8:00 am to 5:00 pm each day.

One session of After the Storm will be held on Wednesday, May 15, 2019 at Forest Park, Springfield. Class time is 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.


These classes are full. Thank you for your interest. If you have any questions about these or other WRHSAC trainings, please contact Raine Brown, Homeland Security Program Manager.