After working for six years as a Hotshot firefighter in Oregon and Colorado, Bethany Hannah opened Wildland Fire Careers, a resume-writing business that caters to firefighters. She is also currently finishing her Master's Degree in Environmental Studies and, on the side, she teaches chainsaw and timber skill workshops. Though her professional experience varies, she stays consistent in her choice to use STIHL equipment.
"The STIHL brand represents, to me, reliability, durability, and the embodiment of self-reliance. That is really important, knowing that I can be self-reliant in whatever it is I choose to do, and STIHL enables me to do that. The tools are quality, easy to use, and I'm able to operate them more safely than others."
Bethany describes herself as outdoorsy and has a passion for conservation. Although she grew up around traditional tools – she felled her first tree in Alaska with a crosscut saw at the age of 15 – it wasn't until her Hotshot training that she first worked with a STIHL chainsaw. Part of that training involved breaking down a classic STIHL 044 model chainsaw and seeing how it operated, inside and out.
"That was pivotal for me to understand what saws were about and what STIHL was about. The way STIHL saws are set up – it's very intuitive. Everything is very accessible in the powerhead. That makes a world of difference when maintaining it."
Her work on the Hotshot team showed her the importance of reliable tools.
"The equipment, to a wildland firefighter, is absolutely critical because we're out in the back country, we can't just go back to the shop and grab a new tool. When it comes to power equipment, you have to be able to rely on it. You have to be able to adjust your tool quickly and consistently, no matter the type of material you're cutting and the conditions that you're cutting in."
In addition to its dependability, Bethany was impressed by the saw's design. Anti-vibration technology decreased her fatigue, allowing her to increase productivity. She also appreciated the lightweight bars, convenient oiling mechanisms, and Easy2Start™ technology. So when it came time to choose a chainsaw for her training workshops, she turned to STIHL.
"I teach using STIHL products because they make a lot of sense. You can pull a saw apart and explain how things function, so it's really fun. And the sense of empowerment that people get when they learn how to run a saw is mind-blowing. They understand that they can learn how to run a chainsaw more safely, and that opens up the world to them."