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Chainsaw Safety Training

  • September 23, 2019
  • 8:00 AM
  • September 26, 2019
  • 4:30 PM

The Northwest Illinois Forestry Association (NIFA) will sponsor two Chain Saw Safety and Woods Worker (SAWW) courses in 2019: Tuesday, September 24th, Level 1 and Wednesday, September 25th, Level 2.  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 techniques.  Courses consist of classroom instruction and outside hands-on saw operation.  Level 2 Session 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.  

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

Course cost for the general public is $70 per person.  NIFA members, their spouses, and children will receive a $10 discount with another $10 discount for anyone registering before 10 pm, Wednesday, September 4th.  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 10 pm, Saturday, September 21st, or when classes are full, whichever comes first.  

Day of class sign-in begins 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.


September 24 & 25 – Jim Breed Farm, 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

All courses will be led by University of Illinois Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Sciences forestry specialist Jay Hayek.  Mr. 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.

• For questions or inquiries, send email to website admin

• To submit membership applications or renewal dues,

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

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