When it made landfall last summer, Hurricane Ida downed trees throughout Louisiana
, which created hazardous situations in an area accustomed to the dangers of violent storms.
Shortly afterward dispatching a team of to assist relief efforts, Oregon Tool representatives received an e-mail from a Hammond, La., resident thanking the company’s Disaster Response Team for its chainsaw support after the Category 4 storm caused an estimated $18 billion in insured losses
throughout the state.
She wrote:As a recently divorced mother of girls, I had never had to do maintenance on my chainsaw.When I heard your company was helping with maintenance on chainsaws in a nearby parking lot, I made a trip there with my chainsaw in tow.Your employees were so helpful and fast. They even took the time(quickly) to show me how to keep up with future maintenance. It was so comforting to have someone who had definitive knowledge about my machine.I know I can speak on behalf of all that were at your company’s booth when I say LOUISIANA APPRECIATES YOU, OREGON!!!!!!
The e-mail explains why Oregon Tool, a leading saw chain manufacturer acquired by Platinum Equity last year
, deploys teams across the nation to help after natural disasters. From the program’s first relief mission to the East Coast after Hurricane Sandy in 2012 to December’s trip after tornadoes ripped through Kentucky, the team has offered support for first responders, utility crews, residents and tree services working to remove tree debris following storms.
Team members eagerly await chances to help.
“Ultimately, I make the call (whether to send a team), but we discuss it as a group,” North American Sales Manager Brett Beddow said recently of the process. “We’ve had maybe one or two group calls to that point, and we’ve all done this enough to know when we need to go. The guys are chomping at the bit, they fight over who gets to go sharpen chains for a week in hundred-plus degree weather, humidity, and not get any decent food.
“That should tell you how it makes you feel.” How the Oregon Tool program works
The program is specific. Anywhere that has experienced widespread tree damage from weather-related events is a possibility. The team, comprised of technical training specialists, provides maintenance to chainsaws for free. It could be sharpening or replacing chains. It could even be teaching someone how to deploy a chainsaw safely, like in the case of the Louisiana single parent. And all brands are serviced, not just Oregon Tool.
“It’s kind of really an all-out effort in the communities,” marketing content specialist Shadoe Revell said. “They help service and safely repair the chainsaws in whole, and a lot of the time they do carry replacement parts, like replacement chains, and they will hand those out for free.”
The service is needed because the workload following a disaster can be tough on a chainsaw. Often, debris includes more than trees. So much activity dulls chains.
Oregon Tool, which coordinates with local nonprofits, informs the impacted area of the service through social and local media. The team has access to three trailers situated in three regions of the U.S. One is situated in the Portland, Ore., where the company is based. The other two are in Missouri and Florida. There are plans to add another.
“It really started with just appealing to the needs of the communities,” Revell said. “I don’t want to take away from the heart of where it started, but now that we do this, and we do connect with those communities, the benefit is making sure that as a company, we’re spreading the word of our brand, and that Oregon Tool is about more than just manufacturing and selling chains.”