Super Vac Regional Sales Manager Gary Wilkins provides basic firefighter chainsaw training during a Central Alabama Training Solution annual training event. Attendees attempted firefighter roof ventilation cuts using battery- and gas-powered fire ventilation saws equipped with a depth gauge. Firefighters cut into decking material with unexposed rafters and double-layer shingles.
Here, we have a battery-operated chainsaw and a gas-operated chainsaw. They both have their own individual purposes. Behind me, we have a roofing prop. This is made out of decking materials with double-layer shingles and rafters underneath.
When you’re going to a roof, there are different kinds of operations to perform depending on what you’re most comfortable with, and how your department operates. A chainsaw depth gauge allows you to adjust your saw depending on the depth of the roofing materials. This protects the rafters underneath.
This chainsaw is set to the same depth as this roofing material. This means we will not cut the rafters or compromise the structural integrity of the building. We have an open-style, quicksilver depth gauge on the battery saw. On the gas saw, we have a full-wrap depth gauge. That is going to prevent you from touching the bar or the chain while it’s in operation.
All of these saws are here for your use. You can use the gas saw, or the battery saw. However, the battery-saw depth gauge is what we are promoting today. When you go over to the next skill station with the fans and the AMKUS tools, you will be able to take this FlexVolt battery out of the saw, and use it to operate those tools as well. It shows the interoperability between the tools. We want to give you a hands-on experience.
The gas-powered saw has the same operation as most other chainsaws. It has a chain brake that must be turned off in order for the saw to be operational. There is a safety latch where your thumb goes. Depress that and pull the trigger to operate the chainsaw. The saw is also variable speed. It allows for half speed and full speed. When doing any kind of venting operation, you are going to want to set the saw to full speed. You can play with the chainsaw depth gauge and adjust it to any setting you want. However, be sure to use your PPE and use the saw safely. We don’t want any injuries today.
You will be cutting into standard roofing material. When cutting, do the long cuts furthest away from your body and work the saw in, towards yourself.
We only have one roofing prop, so do not cut it entirely in two. Only make a few cuts so everybody has a chance to use the depth gauge. Look at how it only allows the saw to cut through the roofing material. This prevents the saw from cutting through the rafters and compromising the structural integrity of the building.
I want you to look at the gas-powered saw. This saw requires some different operations. It has a full-wrap handle and a weighted fuel pickup that allows you to work with it in any position.
The gas-powered saw has a chain brake that is similar to the one used on the electric chainsaw. It has a momentary switch for the on and off button that gives it the ability to stay in the on position. It also has a manual throw. That is useful in a dark environment because you can physically feel whether the saw is turned on or off. The biggest advantage to the battery saw is weight. You will be able to feel how this gas-powered saw is heavier and harder to work with. However, both saws have their individual applications.
The starting procedure for the gas saw is to pull the choke out and then pull the trigger. That is going to set the throttle to high idle. Pull the handle to fire it. Push in the momentary switch and pull the handle again to start it. We have to adjust the depth gauge because it is currently not set up high enough to cut through the roofing material. That’s why it is important to probe the material you are working with. You need to make sure that the depth gauge is set to a high enough level to cut the roofing material. Notice how the saw is not cutting through the rafters and compromising the structural integrity of the building.