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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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I thought those were hand grenades ???

But I was sure I saw a rocket launcher in there too !
J. Trainer - you missed the point, this man had a knife under his pillow, so how could he be considered 'armed' if he went to a fire?
Sounds like a three strikes and your out thing.I'm sure there is way more to it than what was reported.To me a Bowie knife is the one I have that is 16-18 inches long that I can wear down the middle of my back.Anything that fits in your pocket is a tool as far as I'm concerned.I always have at least 1,and usually 2 on me all the time.As far as the other stuff,there have been a couple times I would have given my right arm to have a mortar with me instead of waiting half hour for the cops to get there.
Not hand grenades- just happy to see you....
i get that a lot
Somebody has issues. The fire station is the last place you need a weapon. Sounds like someone is watching too many Rambo movies.
"Anything that fits in your pocket is a tool as far as I'm concerned" - but it wasn't in his pocket. It was under his pillow. Would you leave one of your 'tools' under your pillow?

I can't see this knife as a tool. Bit hard to utilise it when it's back at the station.

Much like having gang members for friends, nothing of what you said above makes sense to me. (I'm sure I must be missing something.)
i say there is more to it then meats the eye
Women not making sense - as it should be! I really can not permit you to fully understand me ;-)

ok - it is true - gang members have a certain - "protect the family" attitude which I find endearing... and several friends I found out were gang members after I made them my friends - not all of them wear it as a public statement, some prefer stealthy since it gets them farther in society
" an allegation by Chief Howard Buchanon that the firefighter had violated department rules against weapons by bringing a Bowie knife."

Just think, He could of picked a number of items from the fire house to put under his pillow. Kitchen knife,axe,hammer,K12,pike pole,closet hook,chain saw,air chisel,exothermic torch, etc. If he had he'd still be employed.
watch a lawsuit come out of this - firefighter wrongfully dismissed after receiving hostile treatment from fellow firefighters - or some other such scary tale

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