The safe way to start a ventilation saw

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The safe way to start a ventilation saw


By Mark van der Feyst

There are three main power saws used by firefighters: ventilation saw, rotary saw and a concrete chain saw. Each is gas powered and must be started by a pull chord.

There are different ways to start a chainsaw in the forestry service, but in the fire service there is one suggested safe way.

Place the saw on the ground or a surface for stability. Place one foot on the footplate by the handle to keep the saw from moving when pulling the chord Follow the appropriate process for preparing the saw before pulling the chord. This may involve pulling out the choke and then pulling the pull chord once or twice allowing the engine to turn over but stall. Then the choke would be pushed back in, the pull chord pulled again with the engine starting and running smoothly.

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Joseph Fiorica Joseph Fiorica Friday, January 18, 2013 9:29:48 PM This is only one "safe" way. It is not realistic to start a chainsaw while on a roof this way. Two other safe ways to start a saw include holding the body of the saw between the legs and then starting it, the other is drop starting. For any of these techniques to be "safe" you must train on them.
Tim Lawrence Tim Lawrence Friday, January 18, 2013 10:56:03 PM I have never start a saw on the roof. Its not the place to find out its flooded or won't start. I start it at the truck and let it idle while getting to the ladder. Also, if it doesn't start get another one before leaving the truck to vent. I typically drop start but if a saw(Stihl) is flooded with a Cal. emissions controls, you usually have to have 2 guys to start it. One on the holding full throttle and the other pulling, so all methods are out the window.
Adam Harnage Adam Harnage Saturday, January 19, 2013 9:44:22 AM Absolutely
Joseph Fiorica Joseph Fiorica Saturday, January 19, 2013 11:07:26 AM @Tim, I totally agree with what you are saying. My point is more that if the saw dies while on the roof the technique that this article is saying is the only "safe" method is unrealistic.
Michael Barrett Michael Barrett Saturday, January 19, 2013 2:32:07 PM Disagree totally on placing your foot by what you call the foot plate which is not. go to fire engineering training minutes and Watch Mike Camipo FDNY on starting saws k12. long story short if you break the trigger with your foot you could place firefighters in side in trouble and screw up truck ops.
Racheal Robinson Avila Racheal Robinson Avila Saturday, January 19, 2013 4:22:32 PM In my teaching world, we call this "code switching" A completely different language that makes sense to a certain audience;)
Linda A Takvor Garbarino Linda A Takvor Garbarino Wednesday, February 27, 2013 10:25:51 AM So, the concensus is if your sthl, stalls, and your on the timing and compression?