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I learned much from my first use of a chainsaw

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Nobody should use a chainsaw for the first time after a disaster. After a disaster, the chainsaw user might be sleep deprived and full of adrenalin. That is not a good frame of mind for first learning about and safely operating a dangerous piece of equipment. The chainsaw operator needs already to have purchased safety equipment and needs to have learned how to safely operate the chainsaw by watching the manufacturer’s safety video or by being coached by someone who already is knowledgeable regarding chainsaw operation and safety procedures.

I had many surprises during my first use of a chainsaw.

  1. I had trouble with the plastic webbing of the safety helmet, but I found a workaround solution.
  2. I got tree sap on my hands, and I was lucky that I had a product to remove it.
  3. I knew that I was too old to chop a lot of wood, especially in hot weather, but I was surprised at how much energy even the operation of a chainsaw requires.
  4. I found that my work output more than doubled and my energy level was conserved when my son helped by steadying the tree limbs being cut and by tossing the cut pieces into the pile, thus giving me a chance to straighten up and rest for ten seconds at a time.
  5. I found that the nearest store that services chainsaws has a two week turnaround time for service, and if I had waited for an approaching disaster, such as a hurricane, the two week turnaround might have left me without an operational chainsaw.

Even if the chainsaw owner has no tree damage after a disaster, a neighbor, friend, or relative might have some tree damage. Expertly using your chainsaw can help to strengthen bonds with that neighbor, friend, or relative. Perhaps that neighbor, friend, or relative might decide to buy a chainsaw, and you will be able to coach in the safe use of it.

Have you had similar experiences in the use of a chainsaw or any other piece of such equipment? What did you learn that you can pass along?

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