North Cascades Saw Training and Certification

Basic Saw Crew Training_ShondaFeather-2optThe Pacific Crest Trail Association and U.S. Forest Service invite you to the North Cascades Saw Training and Certification events. Qualified participants can earn crosscut and chainsaw certifications and re-certifications. These saw trainings are possible thanks to safety and operation agreements with the U.S. Forest Service. These events are open to PCTA volunteers and members only.

Copies of current first aid and CPR certifications must be presented to attend any of the saw classes. The application process is very competitive. Submitting your application does not guarantee admission into the training. Learn more about PCTA’s  Saw Training and Certification program.

When and Where is it?

  • April 8-9, 2017: Crosscut Saw Training in North Bend
  • June 3-4, 2017: Crosscut and Chainsaw Training in Darrington

Registration is required for both of these events.

What certifications are being offered?

The April 8-9 training in North Bend is for Initial Crosscut Saw Certification. Initial crosscut saw certification is a two-day class. It is intended for initial saw certification of individuals with moderate saw experience applying for Trainee (A) level certification; or experienced Trainee (A) level sawyers now ready to apply for Saw Operator (B) level certification. Volunteers will be grouped to allow Saw Operator (B Level) candidates to demonstrate saw crew leadership and saw skills. Saw Operator (B Level) candidates are encouraged to bring their own equipment. Please note: The PCTA saw program only certifies sawyers for bucking operations. 

The June 3-4 Crosscut and Chainsaw Training in Darrington will provide Initial Crosscut and Chainsaw Certification, as well as Crosscut and/or Chainsaw Re-certification for previously certified sawyers. Initial crosscut and chain saw certification classes are separate two-day classes. These classes are intended for initial saw certification of individuals with moderate saw experience applying for Trainee (A) level certification or experienced Trainee (A) level sawyers now ready to apply for Saw Operator (B) level certification. Volunteers will be grouped to allow Saw Operator (B Level) candidates to demonstrate saw crew leadership and saw skills. Saw Operator (B Level) candidates are encouraged to bring their own equipment. Please note: The PCTA saw program only certifies sawyers for bucking operations.

Chainsaw and crosscut saw re-certifications are separate classes, each taking about six hours. Volunteers are encouraged to bring their own equipment, as long as it complies to the Saw Safety requirements. Volunteer instructors will do their best to support dual re-certification requests and will work with these volunteers to complete the dual certifications in one day. Recertification classes will be offered on Saturday, June 3. Please note: The PCTA saw program only certifies sawyers for bucking operations.

Do I need a current First Aid and CPR card?

A current First Aid and CPR certification is required for a saw certification to be valid. PCTA staff and volunteers cannot operate chain or crosscut saws unless they hold a recognized and valid sawyer certification, first aid, and CPR card. After completing your online application, applicants will need to submit copies of their certification cards to the PCTA Sacramento office by email or mail ([email protected]; 1331 Garden Highway, Sacramento, CA 95833). If a current First Aid and CPR card is not on file at the PCTA Sacramento office prior to the training, your registration will be terminated and you will be unable to attend.

How do I register?

The April 8-9 training in North Bend is full.

Registration for the June 3-4 Darrington event will be available soon.

In the meantime, please complete PCTA’s online volunteer application in order to receive updates on trainings and other volunteer opportunities.

The saw application process is very competitive. Submitting your application does not guarantee admission into the training. Acceptance is based on previous saw experience, recommendation from PCTA or partnering organizations or agencies, or attending one or more of the following courses at previous PCTA Trail Skills Colleges:

Attending North Cascades Saw Training events does not guarantee saw certification. Certification cards will only be issued to those who exhibit proficiency, safety and leadership using the saw. PCTA must have copies of current First Aid and CPR qualifications in order to issue saw certification.

Students are required to wear gloves, long pants, long sleeves, and leather, over the ankle, cut-resistant boots. Saw specific Personal Protective Equipment and tools will be provided, but students are encouraged to bring their own personal PPE (gloves, eye protection, hearing protection).

Please forward questions pertaining to North Cascades Saw Training and Certification events to Barry Teschlog.

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Photo by: Nathaniel Middleton