Chain saw parts used as makeshift splint for broken leg

FORKS – A prison inmate is healing well after he was brought to the local hospital with a broken leg splinted with chain saw parts.

The inmate, whose name has not been released by the Department of Corrections, broke his leg when he stepped in a hole doing tree thinning work for the state Department of Natural Resources on May 7.

The inmate’s foot stuck in the hole, but his momentum carried him forward, causing a compound fracture.

Eric Steffen, the Resources employee supervising the inmate workers, used two metal chain saw bars to splint the inmate’s leg, keeping it immobile while he was taken to Forks Community Hospital.

A chain saw bar is a long metal piece bolted to the engine with a notch for the chain to spin around as it cuts.

Oly Archibald, a correctional employee, drove the inmate to the Forks Community Hospital.

Steffen had been a corrections officer at Olympic Corrections Center from 1998 until January, when he joined Resources.

According to an internal Department of Corrections newsletter item about the work accident, staff at the hospital were impressed by Steffen’s improvised splint.

Sue Gibbs, a spokesperson for the prison, said the inmate’s leg is still in a cast and he is recovering well.

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