Aim: The aim of the article is to identify innovative design solutions in chainsaws which are used in rescue and firefighting operations. The review concerns commercial solutions, scientific publications and patents. It enables to determine development trends of chainsaws utilised as mechanical rescue devices.

Project and methods: Although chainsaw evolution analysis is available in the literature, in the greatest part it concerns only timber harvesting conditions. It lacks a review of technical solutions adapted to rescue and firefighting operations which may involve: wood impurities, the need to work on unstable ground and in limited space, the need to maintain focus in stressful and unpredictable situations. Fire protection units operations are aimed at saving people’s health and life, therefore they should be carried out with the use of machines and devices with the best properties.

Conclusions: The solutions presented in the article may affect the development of rescue teams equipment, thereby increasing their efficiency and work safety. Currently, there is a trend toward the use of mobile chainsaws involving: increased durability for cutting wood with impurities, low-emission drives with limited impact on the operator, systems protecting the operator's body against the chain blade during uncontrolled and unpredictable situations, biodegradable oils for chain lubrication. It is necessary to conduct research on innovative solutions towards the usefulness of chainsaws in rescue operations.

Keywords: chainsaw, mechanical rescue devices, mobile wood saws, petrol saws, electric saws

Type of article: review article