TTF Philadelphia Stewardship Leader Alex Rosario attended a chainsaw training led by Professor Don Quigley, (Professor Emeritus, University of New Hampshire) provided through Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and the Fairmount Park Conservancy.
Professor Don Quigley has taught in the forest technology program at the Thompson School of Applied Science at the University of New Hampshire for 39 years, teaching logging, dendrology, forest fire control, and wood products, while processing and mentoring hundreds of students. He also leads the New Hampshire’s chainsaw safety program. The purpose of the training is to provide knowledge and skills to improve safety and efficiency in field operations in natural areas.
The day started with introductions which was followed with a presentation about the different uses of chainsaws. Professor Quigley showed trainees how to properly take apart the chainsaw by cleaning out the filters, taking off the bar from the chainsaw (the bar is the part that the chain catches on) and how to check if the chain on the bar is secure for use in the field.
After lunch, trainees put on the proper PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) which includes: a helmet with a face shield, gloves, chap pants, ear muffs and work boots.
The face shield is used to protect the face from small debris while the cut is happening. Chap pants keep the legs protected when the chainsaw can bounce back toward the legs while releasing it from a pinched tree; the chaps will immediately get caught in the chain, but it will release strings that will clog the chain, allowing it to stop.
Once our protective gear was on, we practiced different cuts demonstrated by Professor Quigley on Log Set-Ups.
While operating a chainsaw you are required to do a boxer stance to keep your balance while the chainsaw is penetrating the wood; otherwise, it can be difficult to finish a cut because the chainsaw can pull you towards the chain. It’s important to make sure your arms and legs are at a safe distance while doing the boxer stance.
We did log cuts for the remaining time of the training, and then learned proper safety measures for sawing a tree down. These measures include: how to predict where the tree will fall and how to plan for an escape route (which could involve moving debris so you don’t trip), but focused on how the cuts need to be made to be able to predict the fall of the tree.
This training was a great experience which I enjoyed. Thank you to the Fairmount Park Conservancy and Philadelphia Parks & Recreation for reaching out to me to attend this opportunity on behalf of TTF.