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DAVE STEPHENS
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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In order to receive a suspension in a union department, the firefighter in question Captain would have had to follow standard civil service disciplinary steps that all supervisors must follow to prevent what you predict. 

There are four (4) steps in the disciplinary process:

1. Verbal warning
2. Written warning
3. Meet with both the Captain and Battalion Chief
4. Meet with the Fire Chief to say bye bye

CBz
Yeah. But his is a bit small for 2011...

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Oh and by the way, we ride kangaroos to work...

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I knew you would be the man to go to for knowing what a knife was... And just as I thought, kangaroo's can indeed be ridden like a horse. Amazing.
or for those who just don't like to read...

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I'm sure there were more incidents than just the two prior that resulted in suspension. Adding up the warnings for two incidents that lead to prior suspension and the final straw that resulted in his termination totaled (12) twelve individual incidents prior to his termination.

Sometimes a fire department has to know when to say when.

The only unfortunate thing is that they waited so long.

How's that saying go? Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me, repeat suspension type behavior a dozen times and... or something like that...

CBz
Meat? As in dead meat... Very funny juxtaposition of words, really.

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