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Lady Luck shines on Czech Dave

Richard Tregoweth - Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dave Stejskal, affectionately known as 'Czech Dave' in Auckland tree climbing circles, is recovering in Auckland hospital following a very close shave indeed with the pointy end of a chainsaw.

Dave's day started as routine, with a relatively small Pittosporum removal in a Blockhouse Bay park. The tree had entwined itself into a chain-link fence so Dave was planning to be delicate with his chainsaw.

Almost on the first cut, and with the blade well away from the fence, the chainsaw grabbed on a foreign object, thrusting it forward into the chain-link fence. The chainsaw blade leaped up the fence links like a fireman up a ladder with Dave countering the saw's bite on the wire with all his might.

By the time the chainsaw blade released itself from the fence, the saw was up-and-over, grazing past Dave's face, coming to rest on his shoulder, taking a piece of bone with it as the blade spun down. It was a stroke of luck the blade missed his face and main arteries.

Co-worker, Marlies Laser (recently retired as a lecturer with Wintec) was quickly on the scene, stopping the blood and calling the ambulance.

Dave is considered 'Mr Safety' within the ranks at Treescape and even he cannot believe just how fast an accident like this happens - a lesson for us all when working with a chainsaw.

Dave is recovering well following an operation on his shoulder this morning and should be released from hospital over the next few days - get well soon mate, we're all thinking of you!

Dave Stejskal (right) talking with Nicky Ward-Allen at the 2011 Auckland Regional TCC at Western Park in March.

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