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South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND - The firefighting career of Jordan Jostes is over with the city of South Bend, but exactly how it ended is not clear.

What is known is that Wednesday morning, during the Board of Public Safety meeting, the board's members voted unanimously to end Jostes' employment by the city.

Board member Patrick Cottrell made the motion that the board give Jostes until 4:30 p.m. Wednesday to resign from the department, or he would be automatically terminated.

But Jostes did not attend the meeting to hear the board's decision and neither did anyone from the firefighters union.

At a hearing two weeks ago, Jostes and the union pushed back against an allegation by Chief Howard Buchanon that the firefighter had violated department rules against weapons by bringing a Bowie knife to work and keeping it under his pillow.

Jostes had claimed the knife was a tool, and union president Ken Marks testified that most of the department's firefighters kept a knife with them while at work.

But Buchanon told the board he pushed for Jostes' termination because the firefighter had already had two suspensions in the past year, with the knife incident being his third.

Although safety board members voted in open session to terminate Jostes, they did not discuss their reasons for giving him the option of resigning.

But after the meeting, Todd Skwarcan, vice president of the firefighters union, said he, Jostes and union lawyer Chip Lewis met with Assistant City Attorney Tom Bodnar the day before and that Jostes had already resigned at that meeting as part of an agreement brokered by the union.

But the board apparently rejected that agreement and made the vote for Jostes to resign or be terminated, a move Skwarcan called "unbelievable."

Bodnar did not return a late Wednesday phone call, and it's not clear if Jostes resigned or was terminated.

Regardless of how he left the department, Jostes' future is already known.

At his earlier hearing, Jostes told the board he had joined the Marines and was leaving for boot camp in October, for what he said was the start of a four-year commitment.

Copyright 2010 South Bend Tribune Corporation
All Rights Reserved
September 16, 2010

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Kept a Bowie knife under his pillow, Gracie?

Wonder if it had the compass, matches, and needle and thread for self suturing of battle wounds.
He must have forgot he was in the fire service, and not in the marines!!

Their breeding!!!!
Other violations as well, God only knows... whats in ones mind.

I was going to say he was post-military... but since he is pre-military, gives me pause

usually people with knives under their pillows are trained to do it - i.e. military or gang member

or have experienced some traumatic experience which has caused them to increase their personal protection measures - i.e. gang member or PTSD

I wonder if they requested that he undergo a psychiatric evaluation?

I wonder what help they offered him. And I wonder about him entering the military if he is experiencing high levels of personal protection needs already - paranoia? PTSD
I'm willing to bet the other firefighters didn't get much sleep?
I guess a M107 would be out too!
no - do what works.

everyone else should learn to be understanding ;-)
I can't believe you used "gang member", and military in the same sentence. And the part about being "trained to do it"...In my twenty years of military service in both the Navy, and the Army, I can't recall at any time being trained on hiding a knife under my pillow. I can relate to the PTSD, paranoia doesn't quite define it though. It's more an issue of lack of trust in humanity than paranoia.
I did not say his behavior was making sense. thus my speculations were wandering.

several of my friends who came back from Iraq are wigged out and ALWAYS have a weapon on them or within reach ... and several friends of mine who are gang members - sleep with knives or guns under their pillows

and several people I know who are mentally ill - keep knives on them at all times

I was not saying it was Military Training that led him to practice this in the fire station - sorry if it offended your sensibilities ;-)

Can't PTSD be both "lack of trust in humanity" [afraid of real threats] and "paranoia" [afraid of unrealistic threats] ???

Actually, gang membership is an increasing problem in the military. While Heather's use of both in the same sentence is speculative, there are people who are military gangbangers.

There have been documented cases of gang members joining the military just for the weapons training and networking.

It doesn't sound as if the former firefighter in question was either a gang member or in the military when the knife/pillow incident occurred, but that doesn't rule out being both for others, unfortunately.
I was sympathizing with the guy til I read "bowie knife". One of my rules is always carry a knife. I would say that 99.9% of the FF's on my F.D. carry a folding knife of some type, but a friggin bowie knife? I agree that there's more to this story. I for one would like to know why the knife was under his pillow. I'd also like to know how anyone knew about the knife since it was UNDER HIS PILLOW! Just seems weird. Stay safe!
That would be a little overkill don't ya think? lol
Certainly more to this than given, as was implied in the article. And I wonder what the previous violations unvolved? Don't need to know though really.

But a Bowie knife as a firefighting 'tool'? A full-size one with the 9.5" traditional blade? I have a knife that is a firefighters 'tool' - an S&W Rescue knife. It lives in my PPE jacket. I can't see that something kept under a pillow is a tool - bit hard to use when out on a job isn't it?

As for in the military, if I had been seen to have a knife like that under my pillow when I was in the Army, in base, then I would have been in trouble, big trouble. Under what you were using as a pillow out 'in the field' that'd be different. But in base? Which is what the dorm at a fire station is?

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