Iowa Region 4 Saw Strike Team

The IA-HLSEM Region IV Disaster Assistance Saw Strike Team mission focus is to reduce, and mitigate when possible the hazard from storm damaged trees.

[04/28/16]   Saw Team Meeting Wed 5/4 7-9p at EOC. T shirts, and uniforms will be handed out. Mandatory for those wanting to respond.

[04/09/16]   After classroom and skills training members have to cut under supervision for 40+ hours.

Skills are evaluated and critiqued trainees teach new cutters continuing to hone skills.

Each year sawyers attend recertification. All to serve those that are affected by severe weather.

[03/13/16]   Shane Gaskill, Lynn Gaskill, and new member Jesse Rudolph are certified for the upcoming storm season. A couple more members will certify tomorrow - members of the Saw Team are required to decertify 1 time per 12 months this is what sets our team apart. Congratulations and thanks for the hard work!

[11/18/15]   Shelby County ESA will be hosting an EMT class. It will be held at Emergency Management Office in Harlan, IA. Starts In January 2016. If interested e-mail Jason at [email protected].

[11/09/15]   Saw Team Northern Division I am responding is in service as of today!!!

[06/23/15]   Today we got our first shipment of new Climbing Gear. New Gaffs, Throw Ropes, Weights, Helmet, Carabineers, and 10' Wire Core Flip Line with Rock Grab. Additional members are going to be trained this off season in climbing so we can better assist the Citizens of Iowa in Hazard Tree, and Limb removal after a storm. We are in the process of purchasing Chokers for use with winches to move tree debris once cut. Recently we were contacted by Demo Dozer who has offered to DONATE a 60" Demo Dozer implement for our Bobcat - another Iowan donated the money for the team to purchase the Chokers. Thank you to all that support this valuable team - although we don't want storms to hit communities we commit to all of Iowa to be prepared if the need arises.

Questions regarding training come into the office frequently - Our training starts at Fire, EMS, or Police Departments. Once you are trained in your individual discipline and Chief of Department signs a participation agreement we start the Sawyer training. All members have to take the Basic 24 hour S-212 Wildland Power Saws Class. After completing the S-212 Course trainees must complete 40 hours of supervised cutting on responses. The additional 40 hours of training orients Trainees to the differences between healthy trees and those that have been stressed by a wind event. At the conclusion of the 40 hours of supervised cutting Trainees have to assist as a Unit instructor in an S-212 Course once this is completed Trainee is tested and Certified to Level.

Levels of Certification for Sawyers are:

Level 3 BASIC
Primarily buck, brush, and limb trees. Limited falling no larger than 8" DBH unless supervised by higher level Sawyer.

Buck, brush, and limb trees. Falling of trees up to 24" DBH, and instruct Level 3 Fallers.

Unlimited in cutting size or complexity. Must be able to instruct all levels. Must be able to assess trees and decide if better option than cutting are available.

Currently we are accepting applications feel free to message our inbox here with a e-mail address and we will forward on an application. Currently our Team will only train those that are available as an IMAC resource through the State of Iowa.

[03/03/15]   Team members have been busy keeping our equipment clean, training, and working with other agencies to hone our skills. We will post pictures of training and deployments through the spring and summer. Please feel free to comment and we will talk with you as we have time.

[09/02/14]   Team currently deployed to Sgt. Bluff, Iowa.

[06/06/14]   A busy week for the Iowa Homeland Security Region 4 Saw Strike Team. We were sent to Oakland, IA to assist in Emergency access, egress, and public safety threats. Sawyers removed trees that were overhanging roadways, and State Hwy 59. Several crews worked to remove trees from homes, and vehicles. Some of which people were still staying in. Saws, and the Teams Skid Steer/Grapple were all used. Saw Team was able to be on the way to Oakland within 42 minutes of being requested; with all its equipment. A big thanks to all those that participated in assisting with the deployment from the Governor's Office, IA-Homeland Security Duty Officer, Pottawattamie County EMA, Shelby County EMA, Oakland Fire Dept, and all others. To the members of the Saw Team that worked in rain, wind, and continued even when threatening weather re-entered the work area GREAT JOB!!!! Please take a moment to realize what a valuable contribution to the safety and security of our citizens you make. Re-hab of Saw Team equipment is underway, although operational; we still have some housekeeping items these folks will be working on over the next week. Even though the Emergency has been resolved these men and women are continuing to work to make sure we are ready for the next request. Take care and as we get more pictures we will post and share them.

I did talk, and receive permission to share this; One resident that had a major health issue and was unable to drive his vehicles if he needed to (two trees on top of them). Our members were able to cut access into his home, and assist with getting the trees safely off his vehicle so he could access medical care if needed. Stories like these are why many of us do what we do.

[04/12/13]   Northern Division had a preperation meeting on Wednesday night we are all ready for the year. We will try post some pictures from deployments as we go. Thanks for everyones support of this valuable team.

[08/29/12]   Saw team received grant funded (equipment) today and added multiple new saws, and personal protective gear. Thanks to all those that helped us achieve what we have. North division now has 22 saws.

[05/15/12]   Northern Division call out. Local request to remove Hazard Trees from Public Park. Please let me know if you are able to respond. Thanks

[05/01/12]   All Firefighters in Shelby County and surrounding areas. The Interior Attack Simulator is here in Defiance on Saturday and Sunday. I have been contacted by the FSTB and informed that very few people have signed up. Please let me know if you are attending, department, and which day. We need to fill the classes. Thanks

[04/30/12]   ***** Press Release *****

For Immediate Release

Region 4 Disaster Response Saw Team, Northern Division Shelby County, Iowa.

The Disaster Response Saw Team Northern Division based in Shelby County met on Thursday evening at the Harlan Fire Station. The meeting was a recruiting, and orientation to the Saw Team. The Northern Division expanded from 19 members to 41 members.

Irwin Fire & Rescue displayed the Equipment trailer and showcased the specialized equipment to new members. Over the next few months new members will attend 24 hours of classroom and hands on cutting, followed by an additional 40 hours of one on one training with a qualified Sawyer.

The Region 4 Disaster Response Saw Team enjoys support from various organizations including Stihl®, Oregon®, Yamaha®, Van Wall Motor Sports, A&M Greenpower Pottawattamie County Supervisors Defiance Fire & Rescue, Irwin Fire & Rescue, Oakland Fire & Rescue, Southwest Iowa Community Foundation, Robinson Implement, and IA Homeland Security Region 4 Board.

These partnerships have allowed the team to acquire approximately 24 specialized chain saws, ATV’s, Trailers, a Bobcat with grapple, Personal Protective Equipment, and other equipment to deal with the damage to trees and vegetation after a tornado, ice storm, or other event that disrupts trees and causes a risk to public safety.

The Disaster Response Saw Team formed after a group of Volunteer Firefighters, and EMT’s from Shelby & Pottawattamie county assisted in the 2008 Parkersburg tornado. The team was later formalized and became recognized as an Iowa Homeland Security & Emergency Management Specialty Team.

The Southern Division of the Disaster Response Saw Team based in Oakland, Iowa is scheduling a meeting for the same purposes in the next few weeks.

Jason A. Wickizer
Northern Division Supervisor

[04/27/12]   Northern Division of Disaster Saw Team met last night. We are finished recruiting for the year-added a total of twenty three new members. Shirt orders are being placed today and Monday-If you were not at the meeting and want shirts you have to call me and make arrangements right away. Also all Northern Division folks need to stop into my Office and get your badge for deployments made.

[04/24/12]   I would appreciate any coordinators sharing this facebook site with other coordinators in Iowa. It would be great to be able to have one area to keep folks up to date on team events, training, and responses.

[04/23/12]   Meeting for all Shelby County Team members, and recruits on Thursday night 7PM at the Harlan Fire Hall. Bring your checkbooks as we will be ordering new shirts, sweatshirts.

[04/18/12]   Shout out to Oregon (R) Chain Saw Suppliers who supports our Team with equipment-you will help many recover that much faster! Our Team supporters are Stihl, Yamaha, Oregon, and Van Wall Motor Sports. If anyone sees them around thank them for assisting a Disaster Assistance Team without them we would not be able to respond. Currently we are in talks with a Chipper manufacturer to assist us in becoming Greener with tree waste removal.

[04/17/12]   Northern Division (Shelby County) has a current roster of 33 members. 14 are ready for Basic Saw Class, we have added several EMT's - and a CCP-PS. Also several members hold special rescue certifications. Welcome to all new members see you on the 26th of April at Harlan Fire Hall 7PM for a Division Meeting.

[04/16/12]   Creston mission stats -

25 members activated
20 saws, 3 pole saws, Bobcat, 2 ATV's, multiple trailers, fuel, oil, and maintenance equipment ready to respond well within our allotted time.
This would have resulted in four squads with two cutting teams each plus a safety officer for each team. Total cutting teams of eight, heavy equipment crew of two, two division supervisors, and a maintenance person with the trailers for repairs.

[04/16/12]   Excellent work by local responders today helped get the city of Creston in a better place. Saw team mission is cancelled a thank you to all the crew members of Region IV Saw Team for taking time away from their families to get things ready to help those in need. We will be better prepared the next time the call comes in. I am proud to be part of a team that gives so selflessly, thank you one and all. To those that showed support of the team today thanks for your kind words and support.

[04/15/12]   Saw Team call out Monday State deployment call your division supervisor with questions.


[12/11/11]   Wildland firefighter s130 / s190 and saws class s212 in February need folks to sign up ASAP, saws class date to be set but will be one of the first three weekends already have aprox 12 from ISU so let me know.

[05/19/11]   New members are joining team, new shirts will be made and issued soon. Will put display on facebook when they are made.

[05/13/11]   Team was deployed on Wednesday, and Thursday by IA-HLSEM to Lenox, IA mission was a success and we have all returned home.

[04/20/10]   Training season is here, just received a management plot of 50 to 70 acres of trees, with camp sites and utilities. Flat to steep ground, lots of area to spread out and work.

[02/03/10]   Completed assignment in Carroll County back home rehabbing equipment and members

[01/31/10]   Out on deployment in Carroll County



612 Court St
Harlan, IA

General information

We are a Disaster Response Team who mitigates tree damage after a storm or event. Specifically removing trees that have a high degree of hazard.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 17:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 17:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 17:00
Thursday 09:00 - 17:00
Friday 09:00 - 17:00
Saturday 09:00 - 16:00
Sunday 08:00 - 17:00
Other Government Organizations in Harlan (show all)
Shelby County ISU Extension & Outreach Shelby County ISU Extension & Outreach
906 6th St
Harlan, 51537

Harlan Police Department Harlan Police Department
709 Durant St
Harlan, 51537

This page is to strengthen the communication between the public and our officers.

City of Harlan Iowa City of Harlan Iowa
711 Durant St
Harlan, 51537

Harlan is located in southwest Iowa, approximately 11 miles north of Interstate 80 (Exit No. 41) between Des Moines, Iowa and Omaha, Nebraska at the junction of US Highways 59 and 44. We have a great little community here in Harlan.

Shelby County Emergency Management Shelby County Emergency Management
612 Court St
Harlan, 51537

This web page is not monitored by Emergency Dispatchers. If you have an EMERGENCY please dial 911.

Shelby County Iowa Wildland Fire Shelby County Iowa Wildland Fire
708 Main Street
Harlan, 51537

Wildland Firefighter Training, and job opportunities

WCCA Head Start Program WCCA Head Start Program
701 10th St
Harlan, 51537

Looking for information about WCCA Head Start? Visit:

Shelby County Soil & Water Conservation District - Iowa Shelby County Soil & Water Conservation District - Iowa
2519 Southwest Ave
Harlan, 51537

Serving the residents, landowners and farm operators of Shelby County Iowa

Shelby County Conservation Board Shelby County Conservation Board
516 Maple Rd
Harlan, 51537

Stay informed on different projects, news and events going on with the Shelby County Conservation Board's parks and recreation page.

Shelby County Recorder - Harlan, Iowa Shelby County Recorder - Harlan, Iowa
612 Court Street Room 201
Harlan, 51537

Welcome to the official page of your Shelby County Recorder's Office!

Geralyn Greer, Shelby County Recorder Geralyn Greer, Shelby County Recorder
2003 20th St
Harlan, 51537

Uniquely Qualified Republican Candidate for Shelby County Recorder

Shelby County Sheriff's Office - Harlan, IA Shelby County Sheriff's Office - Harlan, IA
1104 9th St
Harlan, 51537

"To protect and serve the citizens of Shelby County"