Author Topic: Felling  (Read 12021 times)

Offline from way back

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Felling
« on: July 01, 2008, 09:55:28 PM »
Are SES members allowed to fell trees under command of CFS?
Are SES trained to fell trees? do the SES have more intensive chainsaw training/course then the CFS?

cheers

Offline Bagyassfirey

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Re: Felling
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2008, 10:05:59 PM »
Are SES members allowed to fell trees under command of CFS?
Are SES trained to fell trees? do the SES have more intensive chainsaw training/course then the CFS?

cheers

good question...C.F.S are not allowed to fell standing trees at all after the incident of last summer i beleive.....

Offline bittenyakka

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Re: Felling
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2008, 10:14:32 PM »
I have been told pretty much know body in SAFECOM can.

Offline jaff

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Re: Felling
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2008, 10:27:31 PM »
Heard a whisper that maybe NPWS might be the answer :wink:
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Offline SA Firey

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Re: Felling
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2008, 11:16:50 PM »
Are SES members allowed to fell trees under command of CFS?
Are SES trained to fell trees? do the SES have more intensive chainsaw training/course then the CFS?

cheers

As long as the person CFS are utilising has the relevant qualification yes otherwise NO!
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Offline Mike

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Re: Felling
« Reply #5 on: July 02, 2008, 08:04:53 AM »
SES dont offer a tree felling course.
Even if they did, I think it would be a decision better left to NPWS if possible/practical

rescue5271

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Re: Felling
« Reply #6 on: July 02, 2008, 08:08:25 AM »
A contractor can do it as long as they have done parts of BFF1 and have a chainsaw ticket for felling tree's,I know when I did my chainsaw course last year that cfs was looking at running a course so that we could drop trees when needed....

Offline chook

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Re: Felling
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2008, 08:46:06 AM »
Guys, in an emergency we can (as well as you) do anything (read the act!).
As long as it is deemed as justified & a risk assessment is completed.
Having said that there is an instruction out that currently we don't fell trees, unless qualified to do so! And they are looking into us doing the felling course.
However as an OIC I was at an incident
and there was a significant risk to the public or other emergency workers
and there wasn't a chance to get a qualified contractor in to do job in a timely manner
and there was no other way of controlling the hazard
and we had qualified operators
and we could do the job safely
- then refer to my opening comments!
Newcastle NSW taught us that there were more than one way to skin a cat! and that felling a whole tree my not be the safest/expedient option - due to safety concerns, number of jobs etc, experienced operators can reduce the threat of a tree without having to drop the thing!
Finally some of the comments are puzzling "Under the command of a CFS Officer?" is this in relation to a fire or storm? Because if it's a storm then the lead agency is SES not CFS it does not matter where it is in the state.
Contractor can if they have done parts of BFF1 - obviously in relation to fire grounds only.
NPWS if possible/ practical - again fire ground. NPWS do not get involved in storm ops, local councils tend to shy away from storm ops as well (mind you their front end loaders come in handy).
So in closing I think you know what the answer is :wink:
Hopefully this current stupid situation will be fixed in the near future as it is an insult to those who have years of experience in doing these types of activities and yet no can't (however I doubt it)
cheers
Ken
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Offline Pipster

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Re: Felling
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2008, 06:38:23 PM »
Guys, in an emergency we can (as well as you) do anything (read the act!).
As long as it is deemed as justified & a risk assessment is completed.

I reckon OH & S might beat you on this one Chook....I think people who are not appropriately trained, who then go ahead & chop down a tree, even after a risk assessment is done, and something goes wrong, you would be in strife......

I understand that there is a new policy coming out in CFS, which will clarify many of these issues.

Pip
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Offline Bagyassfirey

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Re: Felling
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2008, 06:46:52 PM »
Is there anything stopping pulling it over with truck than cutting it up...its an easy way around it...i duno a

Offline chook

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Re: Felling
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2008, 07:11:01 PM »
As you know Pip I'm well aware of the OHS & other issues involved due to my paid employment :wink:
Regardless if I had guys who are qualified to operate a chainsaw & I have confidence in their abilities & the need was justified - then stuff the consequences :-D Ensure that things don't go  wrong!
Yes bulldozers/ front end loaders are great, so are big winches :wink:
As I said more than 1 way to skin a cat.
cheers
Ken
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Offline Bagyassfirey

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Re: Felling
« Reply #11 on: July 02, 2008, 07:13:16 PM »
dead right chook  :lol:

Offline Pipster

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Re: Felling
« Reply #12 on: July 02, 2008, 07:23:37 PM »
Regardless if I had guys who are qualified to operate a chainsaw & I have confidence in their abilities & the need was justified - then stuff the consequences :-D Ensure that things don't go wrong!

I reckon there is a big difference between people who can use a chainsaw on a fallen tree, and using a chainsaw to drop a large tree......

The course for felling trees, I think, is around 80 hours, the safe use of chainsaws around 12 hours....

Pip
There are three types of people in the world.  Those that watch things happen, those who make things happen, and those who wonder what happened.

Offline chook

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Re: Felling
« Reply #13 on: July 02, 2008, 07:47:07 PM »
True Pip and maybe if I was in a metro  unit where not everyone owns a chainsaw, & dropping trees is not a common activity & contractors are easy to come by then I would tend to er on the side of caution. But when I've got people on my team who have been using chainsaws fro 20 years & still have all of their fingers & toes and I think we can do it after a discussion with those team members then Why not?
We were called to a tree job a few years ago during a fire, CFS wanted us to drop a big old River red gum that was burning near the crown. On seeing the tree & realising that it was beyond the capability of our chainsaws we asked for a contractor. He turned up son in tow, had the typical PPE the locals up here wear (thongs, shorts, bluey tanktop) fired up this massive chainsaw, we then pointed out to him he should at least have a helmet on as burning wood was falling. He thought maybe that was a good idea,doned one of our chainsaw helmets and proceeded to drop the tree!
Even I was shocked as he's casual attitude, however CFS job they did nothing to stop him.
Now since that time I have worked with a number of professional tree people both at work and during emergencies both here & NSW. At work all the safety gear do the induction, follow all of the rules. Other situations Raffeties rules, so based on the above and the job meets all of the criteria I mention previously ( including the need for urgency) then I stand by my comments.
However in 21 days it won't matter as I won't be making those decisions, so my comments are just that comments (What ever we did prior to now stays in the past :wink:  )
cheers Pip
Ken
just another retard!

Offline bittenyakka

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Re: Felling
« Reply #14 on: July 02, 2008, 08:21:31 PM »
I believe recently the problem was trees being felled late in the piece (ie during a long slow mop up) and doing more damage eg squashing a fence.

But if the tree is a direct threat (in a fire i can;t see how this is the case as for the crown to be burning a whole lot of ground around the tree is probably burning to) i assume there isn't a problem but would exercise caution. (i have been part of some spectacularly well done felling operations)

But remember if we get a contractor in and something goes pear shaped it's their fault

Offline bajdas

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Re: Felling
« Reply #15 on: July 02, 2008, 08:35:02 PM »
...But if the tree is a direct threat (in a fire i can;t see how this is the case as for the crown to be burning a whole lot of ground around the tree is probably burning to) i assume there isn't a problem but would exercise caution. (i have been part of some spectacularly well done felling operations)...

A team of SES crew have been dispatched to some of the major fires last fire season, to assist CFS in ensuring roads are kept clear from fallen or potential to fall trees. They have also inspected private properties after the fire risk has gone, to ensure no further risk.

That is the direct threat of a fire damaged tree falling onto a road, house, shed, animals, etc, etc. The crews have also tarped structures to ensure no further damage and completed land search (people, animals).

I think it would be an interesting risk assessment, if a tree is damaged by fire near the base & beside the road, thus potential to fall onto the road in anything more than a light breeze...is it tree felling if the tree is standing or is the tree leaning, thus it is just loping the weight off by removing branches ??  :roll:

PS.. I am not a currently qualified person in chainsaw work..I come from the old school of using chainsaws before formal competency courses were used.
« Last Edit: July 02, 2008, 08:37:35 PM by bajdas »
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ltdan

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Re: Felling
« Reply #16 on: July 03, 2008, 12:38:11 AM »
Reading the latest ROTCOM minutes the following was indicated:

CFS is investigating in upgrading the current course to incorporate tree felling.  Same duration course.  From my understanding this is going ahead. 

The change of attitude has been caused due to the issues from the Willunga Fire this year.

The new course I understand will start next year and when operators come up for re-acc they will also be trained in this particular skill.

Also at current DEH are trained to fell trees, so if you have them on the fireground get them to do it as they do it every day anyway.

I have personnel in my brigade who can fell trees as they have RPL with CFS with this skill in their occupation but only time they use this skill is at a fire which works for me.

I have also been to incidents with CFS and SES and have had to arrange a Tree Doctor to come out and fell the tree.  As you are aware their is a great skill in this task and if you get it wrong their can be huge implications with life and property.

Remember we can't always do everything we are not superman/superwoman sometimes you have to get outside help.

Offline David

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Re: Felling
« Reply #17 on: July 03, 2008, 07:06:47 AM »

Also at current DEH are trained to fell trees, so if you have them on the fireground get them to do it as they do it every day anyway.

I have personnel in my brigade who can fell trees as they have RPL with CFS with this skill in their occupation but only time they use this skill is at a fire which works for me.


As well as DEH we also have the advantage of Forestry SA out here.

I did a arborist course as part of my studies with TAFE. The course included felling trees etc and was a 10 week course, however it was over 5 years ago and I have been informed I need to do a Re-accred with the CFS before I can use a chainsaw again. :? I currently use a chainsaw as a landscaper.
Even though I have the training for felling I have never been allowed to fell at an incident. 
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ltdan

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Re: Felling
« Reply #18 on: July 03, 2008, 11:09:31 AM »



[/quote]

As well as DEH we also have the advantage of Forestry SA out here.

I did a arborist course as part of my studies with TAFE. The course included felling trees etc and was a 10 week course, however it was over 5 years ago and I have been informed I need to do a Re-accred with the CFS before I can use a chainsaw again. :? I currently use a chainsaw as a landscaper.
Even though I have the training for felling I have never been allowed to fell at an incident. 
[/quote]

Was this course nationally recognised??

Offline jaff

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Re: Felling
« Reply #19 on: July 03, 2008, 11:46:55 AM »
Is the issue with felling trees training? or is it insurance liability? :|
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Offline chook

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Re: Felling
« Reply #20 on: July 03, 2008, 01:09:37 PM »
Exactly - more arse covering! Ltdan I'm not for one moment saying we should do everything, as mentioned previously depends on the circumstances & skill of the particular crew. And there is similar risks involved with removing branches while standing on a roof (or in the bucket of a cherry picker), & many of the other tasks we do - and yet there in no moratorium on those activities.
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Ken
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ltdan

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Re: Felling
« Reply #21 on: July 03, 2008, 01:33:32 PM »
Chook

I am the first to admit that I have authorised a tree to be felled on the  fireground due to the possible implications which may occur in later hours and this was done by us.  But as I believe we are all in agreeance their is a time and a place.

In previous times I would probably agree like you that the liability of the task being completed was the issue within the services.  But this is changing if CFS are going to fulfill their statement with CFS Chainsaw training.

Offline chook

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Re: Felling
« Reply #22 on: July 03, 2008, 04:12:21 PM »
Yep agree - SES is talking about going down the same path. But where does it all end? a course for this, a course for that. Common sense out the door, no one accepting responsibility for anything, all people are worried about is liability.
I'm not sure how many vollies we have but 90% are operational and storm damage operations are a core Standard of emergency response for all Rescue units.
It would be a large job to get that number of people onto a felling trees course (which I agree is a good idea). Then I'm not sure how many people you guys have but more than us - another huge task. Then the MFS as well, looks like some one is going to make a lot of money out of training.
Currently interstate there are the same discussions going on around tree felling in an emergency compared to commercial operations (the 80 hours). With training being a real issue within our service and many individuals electing either to leave as its all to much like a payed job (without the pay) & less people fronting up to join as there is better ways to spend their valuable spare time, why do we insist on making life hard?
One of the things we observed in Newcastle was out interstate peers seemed to be less qualified in this area than we were (i.e. storm damage) and that we were able to tackle the more difficult jobs that they (NSW & Vic) teams had left.
So while I agree that maybe the basic chainsaw course is just that, I find it hard to believe an eighty hour commercial course is justified. Considering that most people in our respective services will never use all of the skills learnt & the commercial fellers have accidents too unfortunately.
cheers
Ken
just another retard!

Offline jaff

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Re: Felling
« Reply #23 on: July 03, 2008, 04:54:38 PM »
Chook I agree with what your saying about where does it end, but my 30 years of using a chainsaw and dropping trees for most of that time around home, dont equate to a nationaly accredited skills tested certificate, that I can show to the coroner and then tell him in all honesty, that I took all precautions as shown on the course, but it still went tits up.
I'm sure that a lot of regular, confident chainsaw users came away from the basic chainsaw course, having learnt something and were suprised that they had.
So as we go down this path of liability limitation, I think we might just have to understand that if it leaves the service, with anyone being put at risk without undertaking "available" training to mitigate the dangers, they leave themselves open to possible claims for damages.


Cheers Jaff
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uniden

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Re: Felling
« Reply #24 on: July 03, 2008, 06:56:24 PM »
Is there anything stopping pulling it over with truck than cutting it up...its an easy way around it...i duno a

Are you serious? Fire trucks are not designed for such a task.