We are working on the 2018 Annual Incident Review Summary. As we compile the summary we’ve got some highlights to share with you. Read this. Do the Exercise. (Maybe include it in your Refresher Training.) Give us feedback. The final version of the 2018 Annual Incident Review Summary will be out soon!
By Travis Dotson
The list of things we get hurt doing is pretty much just a list of things we do. So, is what we do dangerous? Or is what we do safe and it’s the way some people do it that brings on the danger?
OR is black and white, all or nothing, either/or, no middle ground thinking ridiculous and especially problematic on the fireground?
In 2018 we collected 16 different reports of incidents related to Chainsaw Operations.
- Proof of the numerous poorly trained operators out there?
- Flat out amazing that the number is so low given the amount of time we spend running saws?
Didn’t we just talk about false dichotomies?
At least we get to choose the perspective we take.
So here are some numbers, lessons, and an exercise.
Make them mean something.
“The poison oak vine grabbed the chain and pulled the cut tree down into the chainsaw bar, pushing the bar into the sawyer’s leg about four inches below the left knee. The saw’s teeth grabbed the sawyer’s saw chaps and rolled them from the outside inward.”
“During the burnout operations, a sudden wind shift and explosive fire growth happened and at about 1733, personnel were cut off from their escape routes. Most of the firefighters were able to move back to their vehicles to exit the area. However, six individuals farther down the dozer line were forced to run in front of the advancing flame front, through unburned fuels to a nearby dirt road for approximately one mile…”
Write down your answer to these two questions:
1. What makes chainsaws dangerous?
2. What does “Playing with Fire” mean to you?
Discuss your answers with the next firefighter you see (hopefully you know them).