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Review this material to see if what we require fits your willingness to serve on our team. Don't let all this information be overwhelming, we would love to talk with you and see where you might best serve.

We are looking for volunteers who want to serve the familiies and organizations in the Des Moines area by allowing Jesus Christ to work through them.   You do not have to use a chainsaw to serve.

Volunteer Information



There are several levels of responsibility which are necessary to ensure safe and effective operation of chainsaws by employees.  All new Volunteers are welcome -- no skills are required.  

Onsite Director

Responsible for issuing policy and providing for staff support and resources necessary to implement policy requirements. Responsible for issuing additional policy if local conditions  Responsible to ensure volunteer operators are provided with proper personal protective equipment (PPE) and trained/certified for the tasks they are expected to perform involving chainsaws. This includes monitoring of volunteers assigned tasks. When hazardous practices or at-risk behaviors are observed by the onsite director or reported to them by another volunteer, it is their responsibility to immediately intervene to correct the situation. 


Responsible to wear and maintain their personal protective equipment (PPE) and operate chainsaws only within the scope of their duties and ability. The ultimate responsibility for personal safety rests with the volunteer. This includes the right to refuse an assignment for a task beyond the volunteers judgment, and/or ability.



Volunteers are required to wear appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE) while operating chainsaws. Each chainsaw placed into service must be equipped with a chain brake and must otherwise meet the requirements of ANSI 2133-2017 for arboricultural operations and the requirements of this policy. All PPE will meet appropriate standards as set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), and the Bureau.

The following minimum PPE is required for chainsaw operators:


· Hardhat

· Eye protection

· Hearing protection

· Gloves

· Chainsaw chaps

· Non-skid boots/shoes (lug soles or caulks)

· Appropriate field attire


All chainsaws, axes and wedges used by Valley Chainsaw volunteers will meet or exceed appropriate safety standards.

VDR also operates a boom truck and chipper.  Specific safety procedures are used by ALL volunteers whille operating this equipment.  Training of these procedures will be offered as needed.  Equipment required to operate:  Hard hat, eye protection, ear protection and gloves.


It is recognized that a volunteer chainsaw operation is a hazardous operation essential to accomplishing the mission of cutting, clearing and removing debris.  The purpose of this policy is to provide direction for the safety of all volunteers operating chainsaws in the performance of their duties


All volunteers, students, etc., who operate chainsaws within the scope of their duties will be trained and certified. All those who have not met the requirements of this policy shall not operate chainsaws EXCEPT for training purposes and only then under the direct supervision of a person approved.

A Risk Assessment or Job Hazard analysis must be accomplished prior to any chainsaw use, including any field work as well as training. Initial tree risk assessment will be completed by the onsite director prior to the scheduling of a job.

This policy is established not to encourage large-scale, complex falling activity by Valley Chainsaw volunteers on a regular basis, but to provide for the safety of the volunteers who use chainsaws and fall trees on a limited or occasional basis.