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Jo Daviess County: Chain Saw Safety Courses

  • July 25, 2018
  • 8:30 AM
  • July 26, 2018
  • 4:00 PM
  • Arnold Farm and Breed Farm

The Northwest Illinois Forestry Association (NIFA) will sponsor two Chain Saw Safety and Woods Worker (SAWW) courses near Elizabeth this month, a Level 1 Session on Wednesday, July 25th, and a Level 2 Session Thursday, July 26th.   The Level 1 Session is to be held at the Tom and Jessica Arnold Farm.  It is open to participants of any level of experience.  The Level 2 Session will be held at the Jim and Monika Breed Farm and is open only to those who have completed  Level 1 any time previously.  Level 2 will feature advanced tree felling techniques and more hands-on time in the timber.  Bothcourses will be led by University of Illinois Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences forestry specialist Jay Hayek.  This training is designed to teach novice and seasoned saw operators safe operation of gas-powered chain saws.  All participants will be instructed in cutting and felling methods using the open-face directional notch and the bore-cutting technique.  The course consists of both inside classroom instruction and outside hands-on training and saw operation.


Topics to be covered

  • safety and personal protective equipment (PPE)
  • saw operation, starting, safety features, and body mechanics
  • cutter tooth parts, basic saw maintenance, and chain filing
  • saw reactive forces (push, pull, kickback, and attack)
  • the 5-step felling plan
  • the safe cutting of spring poles and limbing and bucking techniques.

Cost and Registration

Each one-day course costs $70 for the general public.  NIFA members, their spouses, and children will receive a $10 discount for each course with another $10 discount for each course for anyone registering before 10 pm, Wednesday, July 18th.  Registration may be made by mailing request & payment to Tom Arnold, 997 N. Salem Rd., Elizabeth IL 61028, calling 815-858-2407, or emailing  To ensure everyone receives hands-on, personal instruction, class size is limited to the first 8 applicants, so register early!  Registration will close at 10pm, Saturday, July 21st.

Day of class sign-in will begin at 8:00 am with the indoor session starting at 8:30.  Course will end at 4:30 pm.  Bring your own lunch, chain saw, leather work boots, and gloves.  If you have them, bring a safety helmet with face shield and hearing protection and chainsaw chaps.  These items are a must-have to participate.  If you do not have them, indicate so with registration, and they will be provided or shared.


July 25th - Arnold Farm is located at 997 N. Salem Rd., Elizabeth IL.  From Hwy US 20 in Woodbine (half way between Stockton and Elizabeth), take Scout Camp Rd north near the east edge of town.  Go approx. 5 miles and turn left onto Schapville Rd.  In about 100 yards, take the first left onto Salem Rd.  The farm is 2 miles down on the left side.  Buildings are bordered by an evergreen windbreak.


July 26th - The Breed Farm is located at 3446 W. Long Hollow Rd. Elizabeth IL.  From Elizabeth, head west on Hwy US 20 approx. 7.5 miles to the Galena Territory main entrance. Turn right (north) into the entrance, then an immediate right onto Long Hollow Rd.  Travel approx. 2 miles to the farm lane on the north side (left).  Buildings are not visible from Long Hollow Rd.


About the instructor

Jay Hayek has received over 144 hours of advanced professional chainsaw training through the following nationally recognized programs:  Safety and Wood Workers (SAWW) Training, Game of Logging™, and NWCG’s S-212 Wildland Fire Chainsaws.  Jay is also the lead chainsaw instructor for NRES 285 – Chainsaw Safety & Directional Felling, a 2-hr undergraduate field course offered at the University of Illinois.  Jay received his B.S. in forestry from the University of Illinois and his M.S. in forest resources (silviculture) from the University of Idaho.

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• To submit membership applications or renewal dues,

mail to NIFA Treasurer, 9098 East Canyon Rd, Apple River, IL   61001

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