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Believe it or not, utilizing power tools, saws specifically, is new to many of this generation of firefighters.  We realized this a couple of years ago as we trained to place our first dedicated truck company in service.  While we always carried a compliment of various saws on quints, we really didn't have a large group of members across all three shifts that had the comfort level necessary to meet our skill requirements to ride the truck. Thanks to a regional "All saws" class held each year in Lewisville, we have the ability to put together a saw proficiency training program to develop member's skills and confidence using saws.  In development is a five part program that starts very basic, and progresses to include a majority of the skills that the member will be expected to perform while riding as part of the exterior team on the truck.  While some of the phases do require props, some of the basic stuff can be done in-house and for little cost.  We combine East Coast and West Coast tactics depending or the specific needs.  Here is a very basic outline of the 5 Saws modules:


Saws I

  • Saw mechanics, design, maintenance, troubleshooting - Lecture and hands-on
    • Introduction to how saws work
    • Manufacturer information 
    • Saw theory and maximization of power and mechanics
    • Blades
    • Hands-on disassembling and assembling each type of saw
    • Safety considerations
    • Basic saw familiarization and operations
      • Log cutting drill
  • Building construction – Reference TCFD Truck Manual Volume I Chapter 4 (LA Truck Book 29)
    • Construction types
    • Roof types
      • Truss engineering
  • TCFD S.M.A.R.T3. Operations
    • Strategies and Situational Awareness
    • Managed Operations
    • Aggressiveness
    • Risk Management
    • Tactics, Tasks, Techniques

Saws II  

  • Residential Considerations and Operations
    • Peaked roof familiarization and operations
      • Peaked roof drill
      • Garage door drill

Saws III

  • Commercial Roof Considerations and Operations
    • Flat roof familiarization and considerations
      • Flat roof drill
      • Roll up door drill

Saws IV

  • Forcible Entry – Reference TCFD Truck Co. Operations Manual Vol. 2 Forcible Entry (FDNY Forcible Entry Reference Guide)
    • Forcible entry door drill
      • Residential
      • Commercial
  • Security bar drill
  • Chain and lock drill

Saws V 

  • Rescue / Special Operations
    • Cutting concrete
      • Dirty breach drill
      • Clean breach drill
  • Cutting metals


The goal if this training is saw time.  We have found that you don't have to throw a guy up on a roof first thing to build saw skills.  In fact, just plain old wood cutting can produce great results for someone who has little or no experience with saws.

Saws Hands On Progression

Logs - chain saws

Garage / roll up door- chain and rotary saws

Peaked roofs prop - chain saws, various blades

Chains / locks - rotary saws

Security bars - rotary saws

Commercial / residential doors - rotary saws

Flat roof prop - rotary and chain saws - various blades

Real roofs - chain and rotary saws

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Replies to This Discussion


I would like to get more info on your 5 saw modules and on the garage door prop.


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