National Wildfire Coordinating Group

S-212, Wildland Fire Chainsaws, 2012

S-212 Decorative banner. Group of photos depicting wildland firefighters performing various duties.

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Course Delivery Information

S-212 may be delivered as instructor-led (classroom) training.

Expectations of Instructors

  • Prepare thoroughly. Study the course content you are going to teach.
  • Establish a collaborative and constructive classroom environment.
  • Communicate expectations.
  • Encourage student engagement.
  • Respect student diversity in backgrounds, talent, experience, and learning style.
  • Professionally represent your instructor cadre, your home unit, and your agency.

Course Guidance

Course coordinators and instructors should be thoroughly familiar with the NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1.  The NWCG Standards for Course Delivery establishes standards for all aspects of NWCG training course management and delivery. These standards should be used in conjunction with the NWCG Standards for Wildland Fire Position Qualifications, PMS 310-1, and the course-specific guidance stated in the NWCG Training Catalog.

See S-212 minimum instructor qualifications

Recommended Class Size

Recommended class size is 24 students. Instructors should maintain a 6:1 ratio of students to instructors/coaches to facilitate exercises and discussion and to enable strong mentorship to the students. 

Student Materials

Each student must be provided the following:

Technical Considerations

All presentations should be downloaded and tested before the start of class to ensure compatibility with software.

PowerPoint presentations are built in an older version of Microsoft Office.  Some features may not work correctly with newer software or systems.  

For help, visit the Microsoft Office website or contact your local IT support personnel.

Course Evaluations

Use the NWCG Course Evaluation Feedback form to collect information critical to future training improvements.

Students and cadre members are asked to contribute course evaluations. Input is welcome on all aspects of the training course, including course content, pre-course work, reference materials, quality of instruction, delivery methods, and testing procedures.

Instructor Cadre Meetings

Conduct initial, pre-course, daily, and close-out instructor cadre meetings. These provide opportunities to plan, organize, preview materials, review training and exercises, and identify and address concerns and issues. Consider using an informal After Action Review process. Instructor cadre meetings are critical for instructors who do not have previous experience with the course. Additional information is located in the NWCG Standards for Course Delivery, PMS 901-1.

2012 Version

The FFT2 qualification has been removed as a prerequisite for attendance to S-212, effective 1 June 2023. Please see Curriculum Management Issue Paper # 141.

The homepage for the Hazard Tree Subcommittee referenced in the S-212 course has changed to the Hazard Tree and Tree Felling Subcommittee. The new web address is The website is referenced in the following locations:

  • Instructor Guide page 4C.3
  • PowerPoint slide 4C-3
  • Appendix A page 6

A video has been added to the Pre-Course Work page for S-212. The video is called "Fuel Geysering: Predictable?". It discusses recent events regarding refueling accidents. Reference to the video will need to be included in the course selection letter. Cadres should include a short discussion on the video during the course. The video and discussion point examples can be found in the WFSTAR catalog here:

Wildland Fire Chain Saws, S-212, is now a required National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) training course for individuals desiring to be qualified as a Basic Faller (FAL3). Please amend the current preface and course instructions as follows:


Wildland Fire Chain Saws, S-212, is a required National Wildfire Coordinating Group (NWCG) training course for individuals desiring to be qualified as a Basic Faller (FAL3) in the National Interagency Incident Management System: Wildland Fire Qualification System Guide,PMS 310-1. It is a suggested course for individuals desiring to be qualified as a Firefighter Type 1 (FFT1), Incident Commander Type 5 (ICT5), or Felling Boss, Single Resource (FELB) in the NWCG Standards for Wildland Fire Position Qualifications, PMS 310-1.

Course Instructions


The target group should consist of individuals desiring to be qualified as Basic Faller (FAL3), Firefighter Type 1 (FFT1), Incident Commander Type 5 (ICT5), or Felling Boss, Single Resource (FELB).

This course is suggested training for individuals who use chain saws in their NWCG wildland firefighting positions. It provides basic instruction in chain saw use for tactical fireline applications.

In addition, the Chain Saw Operator Field Evaluation Form found in Appendix C on the course materials CD needs to be updated by the evaluator.
• Apprentice (FALA) update to Basic Faller (FAL3)
• Intermediate (FALB) update to Intermediate Faller (FAL2)
• Advanced (FALC) update to Advanced Faller (FAL1)

The form also appears on the PowerPoint Slides 0-11 and 4D-13. Instructors will need to note the change when discussing the form.



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