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Chain Saw Safety - Level 1

  • May 03, 2022
  • 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • JDCF Portage Preserve
  • 6


  • Not a member of NIFA

Registration is closed

The Northwest Illinois Forestry Association (NIFA) will sponsor seven days of Chain Saw Safety and Woods Worker (SAWW) courses in May 2022.  This course is Level 1 and is designed to teach novice and seasoned saw operators safe use and maintenance of gas and electric powered chain saws.  This course is required for anyone wishing to register for a Level 2 or Advanced Training session.

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 public is $90 per person.  Anyone registering before 10 pm, Friday, April 22nd will receive a $10 discount.  NIFA members and family will receive an additional $10 discount.  To ensure everyone receives hands-on, personal instruction, class size is limited to the first 8 applicants, so register early!  Those wishing to enroll in both Level 1 and Level 2, please register for consecutive dates.

More classes will be scheduled if these sessions fill before the registration deadline.

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.   These items are a must-have to participate.  If you have them, bring a safety helmet with face shield and hearing protection and chainsaw chaps.  If you do not have them, indicate so with registration, and they will be provided or shared.


Jo Daviess Conservation Foundation's Portage Preserve, 1121 N. Ferry Landing Road, Galena.

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.

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

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