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Proper Care for Our Working Tools

Chain Saws & Power Cut off Saw (K-12)

The Fire Service today, there are more tools available to assist us. These tools are use for roof ventilation, forcible entry in to a buildings and homes. We depend on our tools to be ready for any task.

One of the worst things that can happen (the tools don’t start) not properly maintained. Are we properly maintaining our tools? Are the Saws set in “READY POSITION”, refueled, and cleaned after every use?

firefighter

Every Fire department should have a standard practice for maintaining saw equipment, but are they being followed. The fire service is staffed with Professional (full time) fire fighters, Paid on Call fire fighters, and Volunteer fire fighters. Are we doing these checks as often as we should?

We are own worst enemy when it comes to properly maintaining our equipment. We get in a hurry, not thinking, or planning to be ready for the next call. We fail to take the proper steps sometimes to make sure it’s cleaned, refueled, and ready for the next call.

There are newer members that don’t know the proper way to start the saws or some fire fighters have forgotten how to start the saws. This happens more often on the Paid on Call or Volunteer departments because members don’t make training sessions or they have low call volume.

The lack of training and low call volume is a problem for fire fighters, especially on the fire scene

ventilating a roof

Below are two saws that are in used on Fire departments today. The Chain saw (manufacture in many different styles and brands), and the K-12 saw one of many brands names in the industries.

chainsaw on fire truck cutter

Here are some easy tips to help prevent equipment failure in the field.
This step should be done every time the saws are used.

Chain Saw maintenance:

chainsaw

  1. Wipe down outside of saw with (cleaning solution) and a rug after each use, including daily checks.
  2. Disengage chain stop!
  3. Remove side cover
  4. Check blade teeth. If 3 or more teeth or 2 or more teeth in a row are broken, replace blade or remove from service until replaced. If it needs to be removed from service, make sure it’s reported today command. (This way everyone will be made aware of it).
  5. Remove bar
  6. Clean bar and side cover thoroughly. Wipe down chain. Do not use degreaser to clean chain.
  7. Reassemble making sure chain is moving in the direction.
  8. Tighten chain to proper tension.
  9. Refuel and refill bar oil.
  10. Final wipe down, place in “Ready Position”, and return saw back in service in its proper place.

Power cut-off Saw (K-12):

cut off saw

  1. Remove
  2. bladeWipe down outside of saw with (cleaning solution) a towel.
  3. Check teeth and remove from service and replace if blade is questionable.
  4. Clean the inside of the blade guard.
  5. Make sure blade guard rotates where appropriate.
  6. Reassemble blade; make sure directional blades are assembled to rotate in the proper direction.
  7. Refuel saw.
  8. Final wipe down, place saw in “Ready Position” and return to its proper place.

saw

Proper Starting for all Saws for daily checks

Chain Saws

Starting:

Check to make sure saw is in “ready Position”.

Kill switch in run position.

Choke pulled out.

  1. Decompression BLUE switch pushed in.saw maintenance
  2. Chain lock is disengaged.
  3. Pull cord slowly until tension is felt.
  4. Pull cord fast several times until saw “POPS”.
  5. Push in choke.
  6. Push BLUE decompression switch.
  7. Pull cord slowly until tension is felt.
  8. Pull cord fast until saw starts (repeating slow and fast pulls until running)
  9. Once saw is running, give it a few short bursts of power to get it running good.
  10. Let saw run at idle for 10 minutes.
  11. Run saw to full speed and hold for 15-20 seconds.

a. Do this 3-4 times.

b. Let saw run at idle speed.

c. Blade should stop moving once saw is at idle speed without hand on trigger.

d. Engage chain lock and give some power to make sure chain does not move under power. Only do this a few short seconds.

e. DO NOT RUN AT FULL THROTTLE FOR EXTENDED PERIODS OF TIME!!

13. Turn saw off
14. Set saw in ready position
15. Check fuel & check Bar oil level
16. Let saw cool before returning it to its proper place on the Engine or Squad.

Proper Starting for all Saws for daily checks

Power Cut- Off Saw (K-12)

Starting:
1. Check to make sure saw is in “ready Position”.
2. Kill switch in run position.
3. Choke pulled out.
4. Decompression BLUE switch pushed in.

on switch
5. Chain lock is disengaged.
6. Pull cord slowly until tension is felt.
7. Pull cord fast several times until saw “POPS”.
8. Push in choke.
9. Push BLUE decompression switch.
10. Pull cord slowly until tension is felt.
11. Pull cord fast until saw starts (repeating slow and fast pulls until saw starts)
12. Once saw is running, give it a few short bursts of power to get it running good.

13. Let saw run at idle for 10 minutes.
14. Run saw to full speed and hold for 15-20 seconds.

a. Do this 3-4 times.

b. Let saw run at idle speed.

c. Blade should stop spinning once saw is at idle speed without hand on trigger.

15. Turn saw off.
16. Set saw in running position.
17. Check fuel level.
18. Let saw cool before returning it to its proper place on the Engine or Squad.

By properly maintaining your equipment, it should run perfect every time it’s needed in an emergency.