North Cascades Saw Training and Certification

Photo by Don Sanderson.

The 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. The PCTA saw program only certifies sawyers for bucking operations. 

Copies of current First Aid and CPR certifications must be presented to attend PCTA saw certification events and 297 Chainsaw Practicum 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 are the 2020 events?

Multiple crosscut and chainsaw training and certification events were planned for 2020. However, they have all been postponed due to COVID-19 and the deep concern for the health and safety of our PCT community and beyond. Below you’ll find details about the events as they were originally planned.

More details about the events

Before canceling/postponing all in-person PCTA-related events, the following were planned:

April 11-12 in Randle

This training is for:

  • Crosscut sawyers seeking initial certification (two-day class required),
  • Chainsaw sawyers seeking initial certification (two-day class required),
  • Crosscut sawyers seeking re-certification, or
  • Chainsaw sawyers seeking re-certification

Overnight accommodations are available for this training: there are a few beds available in the bunk-houses, plenty of space for self contained RV camping, and a couple acres of grass for tent camping. Meals are not provided at this certification event, but there is a kitchen in the bunkhouse that all participants can use to prepare meals.

Please note: The PCTA saw program only certifies sawyers for bucking operations. Copies of current First Aid and CPR certifications must be presented to register.

May 2 in North Bend

On Saturday, May 2nd, PCTA volunteers will be teaching introductory saw courses. The crew will meet at the North Bend Ranger Station and then travel together to the project site. There will be two training courses held on this day. Students who are new to sawing and would like to prepare for logout work should register for 103 Basic Saw Crew Training. Students who are interested in practicing their chain saw operation in preparation for eventual certification may sign up for 297 Chain Saw Practicum. PCTA is not arranging camping or meals. Those registering for 297 Chainsaw Practicum must have current First Aid & CPR certifications.

May 9-10 in North Bend

This training is for:

  • Crosscut sawyers seeking initial certification (two-day class required),
  • Chainsaw sawyers seeking initial certification (two-day class required),
  • Crosscut sawyers seeking re-certification, or
  • Chainsaw sawyers seeking re-certification

Participants are responsible for arranging their own overnight accommodations and meals.

Please note: The PCTA saw program only certifies sawyers for bucking operations. Copies of current First Aid and CPR certifications must be presented to register.

May 16-17 in Darrington

This training is for:

  • Crosscut sawyers seeking initial certification (two-day class required),
  • Crosscut sawyers seeking re-certification, or
  • Chainsaw sawyers seeking re-certification

Overnight camping and vegetarian meals are available for this training.

Please note: The PCTA saw program only certifies sawyers for bucking operations. Copies of current First Aid and CPR certifications must be presented to register.

Do I need a current First Aid and CPR card for saw certification?

Yes. PCTA staff and volunteers cannot operate chain or crosscut saws unless they hold a recognized and valid sawyer certification, First Aid, and CPR card. PCTA must have copies of current First Aid and CPR qualifications in order to issue saw certification. After applying for North Cascades saw trainings, applicants will need to submit copies of their certification cards to the PCTA Sacramento office by email or mail ([email protected]; 1331 Garden Highway Suite 230, Sacramento, CA 95833).

Please note: First Aid and CPR are required for all sawyers except for crosscut saw trainees who are operating under the supervision of another sawyer. OSHA states in Appendix B of 1910.266 that First Aid and CPR training shall be conducted using the conventional methods of training such as lecture, demonstration, practical exercise and examination (both written and practical). The length of training must be sufficient to assure that trainees understand the concepts of first aid and can demonstrate their ability to perform the various procedures. A sawyer must take First Aid/CPR classes which are taught hands-on and with a knowledge test. Online First Aid/CPR courses do not meet these requirements.

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