BRTA home page.

Saw Training

The National Forest Service and the National Park Service require that operation of a chainsaw or of a crosscut saw be limited to those crew members that the have been certified by one of these agencies in the use of those saws. The training necessary for certification is provided in April of each year at no charge. The training and certification only cover bucking (cutting trees that are already down on the ground). It does not cover tree felling. The certification is good for three years.

Members must provide a copy of a First Aid /CPR Certification before the saw certification card will be issued. If the First Aid/CPR training is completed after the saw training, a copy of the First Aid/CPR certification can be sent to the certifying agency a certification card will be mailed.

The first aid requirement can be satisfied by any Basic First Aid and CPR course completion, such as provided by the Red Cross. Online training is accepted but requires the additional step of completion of a classroom skills session. The NCTA will reimburse the expenses for this basic course if you are registered as a Volunteer-In-Parks (VIP).

Advanced First Aid/CPR certifications will also be accepted. The BRTA has used Active Source training to offer a combination of Red Cross CPR/AED and Basic Wilderness First Aid (WFA) Certification good for two years. The BRTA does not have a WFA course scheduled this spring. Go to for their publicly available class schedules, fees, and registration.

Saw Training Manual

The 2006 USFS Chain Saw and Crosscut Saw Student Guidebook covers the following information for chainsaws and crosscut saws:

  • Chapter 1: Course Information
  • Chapter 2: Safety Requirements
  • Chapter 3: Chain Saw use and maintenance
  • Chapter 4: Chain Saw Tasks and Techniques
  • Chapter 5: Crosscut Saw Tasks and Techniques
  • Chapter 6: Field Proficiency

The tree felling sections are not covered in the training course. You can download the full guidebook.

2022 Saw Training Schedule

Note for BRTA members: As a member of the BRTA you used to be a NPS Volunteer-In-Parks (VIP) program participant by a group agreement between the BRTA and the NPS. In 2021, the NPS determined that the NPS VIP should be done on an individual agreement basis and is the reason for the first sign-up prerequisite below. You remain a Volunteer-In-Forests (VIF) program through the group agreement between the BRTA and the NFS.

2022 Chainsaw and crosscut saw training dates have been set! This training is only open to NPS VIPs and here is the training sign-up form for each participant to complete.

Date: April 23, 2022 (Chainsaw training) & April 24, 2022 (Crosscut saw training). These are two separate trainings and volunteers are not required to attend both days.

Location: Bunker Hills Regional Park in Andover, MN


  1. Completion of the NPS VIP volunteer sign-up process. Information about the sign-up process can be found on NCTA's website. If you have any questions about the process, please reach out and I'm happy to walk you through it.
  2. Completion of Trail Safe!, an online self-paced safety training with 8 Chapters that can be completed in a total of 3 hours. At the bottom of the website, instructions are provided on how to receive credit by emailing
  3. First aid and CPR training. There must be an in-person component to the training, whether it's 100% in-person or blended (part online, part in-person.) American Heart Association and American Red Cross are the most recognized organizations for first aid and CPR training. When completed or if you are already certified, please email me a copy of proof of completion. Reimbursement for the training is available to NPS volunteers by emailing your receipt to

**Please sign up by March 31. The roster will be confirmed in early April. If more volunteers sign up then the number of spots, I will contact each group and ask them to prioritize who they would like to attend the training.

**More detailed information will be emailed to all participants closer to the training date. If you sign up and are no longer able to attend, please email as soon as possible.