June 4, 2009
20 CERT Members Get Chainsaw-Certified

GOFFSTOWN - Timber” and “tree falling” echoed numerous times while Goffstown CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) put their chainsaw training to the test.

Following three hours of classroom instruction, 20 team members walked out to a wooded parcel for hands-on chainsaw cutting with technical instruction on Saturday, May 30. By the time the training was over, any participant who wanted to was able to experience first hand how to fell a tree or cut fallen wood.

The Goffstown Department of Public Works hosted the training by offering a garage set up at the transfer station with tables and chairs for classroom instruction time.

The class, taught by Brent Beebe of Plymouth, was sponsored by NHLGC, the town’s insurer for medical and risk management.

“Back in July 2008, an EF2 tornado touched down and affected nine towns in New Hampshire,” said CERT director Susan Jutras. “Volunteer NH contacted Goffstown CERT to assist in clearing fallen trees that were obstructing the roads. A half dozen CERT members gathered chainsaws to head down to Deerfield to help with cutting trees, only to be told we needed to be certified for liability purposes.

“Goffstown CERT held this chainsaw training so that the 20 or so members that attended the training will receive their certification, so the next time we get called upon, we will be ready.”

During the morning session instruction time, the CERT members consisting of 11 men and nine women, learned about the personal protection that is strongly recommended for tree cutting. The chainsaw that would be used that day was taken apart to show how to adjust the chain, clean the bar, sharpen teeth, oil and grease it, clean and change the air and fuel filters, and what fuel to use. After a luncheon provided by NHLGC, CERT members trekked out to fell a large dead pine tree behind the transfer station. That was the opportunity to witness what the films and PowerPoint demonstrations of the morning explained. After determining where to drop the tree and the size of the wedge cut, the instructor cut the tree while others watched in earnest. The tree fell where as anticipated, amid a round of applause from onlookers.

CERT members then practiced bore cuts and cut down trees. Each member who took a turn donned chaps, leather gloves, safety glasses and a hard hat with face shield and ear protection. Every tree or cut attempted was completed safely and accurately under the tutelage of the instructor.

“I learned a lot of new things today,” said CERT member Butch Broduea. “I’ve had experience cutting trees, but I learned a few new pointers.” John Moore, who practiced bore cuts on a stump and cut down a tree, said “,I learned some new safety tips. It was a very good class.”

For more information about Goffstown CERT, visit www.GoffstownCERT.org.



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