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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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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



I'm going to take a different approach rather than the other issues discussed here. It is possible this was a hunting knife in which he brought in to sharpen, fix, etc. I know of several guys who will bring in projects to work on and even hunting and fishing stuff.

The kicker in this case is that the dept policy of no weapons. The reason for being under the pillow could be that he was trying to hide it because perhaps the chief showed up unannounced or something. The issue of saying it was a "tool" is perhaps the union defense, to which the person is entitled. The issue being though the guy had 2 strikes already and the "tool" defense wouldn't really stand.

My theory is if this was the guy's first offense, he would probably get a slap on the wrist, but since there is already 2 other violations leading to suspension in the past year....then it sounds like this was the right decision.
That could open up another can of worms Heather. Might there be any evidence in the FD about such treatment happening? Might he have made any complaints about such treatment? About all we have to go on is that he was dismissed for an offence against FD rules. And this was his third breach.
don't even MENTION the worms...

NO WORMS IN THIS THREAD...

If you see worms... put them back in the can... or get a fishing pole
They're apparently a good source of protein or something (I watch Bear Grills, but no way will I take up his eating habits).
yeah - but Bear is a little off his rocker - but HOT as all hell - and LOL, he will probably save my life one day with his interesting solutions

and he is the man that I would want with me in any state of survival

but any man that drinks his own urine and drinks the fluid out of the stomach of a camel and will eat the testicles off almost anything probably thinks worms are equal to chocolate... tasty snacks to delight ;-)
I sleep with a K12 under my pillow. Shhh...don't tell.
Does the Dept "no weapons" policy clearly spell out their definition of "weapon"? Damn near every Firefighter I know in the Chicago Metropolitan area carries a knife, including myself!
what pisses me off is that the guy already resigned the day before the board meeting as part of an agreement i'm guessing so he can save face, and the board pretty much said "f--k you kid we'll do what we want."
Does the Dept "no weapons" policy clearly spell out their definition of "weapon"? Damn near every Firefighter I know in the Chicago Metropolitan area carries a knife, including myself!

Many on my dept also carry a knife or multi-tool in turnouts or on their station uniform as well. After 55 Truck's post, considering all the "weapons" we are around, if such a policy was truly enforced, we would be working under a lock and key and all meals eaten with spoons.

Although, I would say it is difficult to justify a bowie knife as a tool. Considering the issue that the guy was already suspended twice in a year for issues, I can see that being the more determining factor for termination than the knife. My guess is if this was the first offense, he would still be on the job.
Is it the saw or the fumes that help you sleep?
:-)
i gotta agree with you heather but i think he would go after the city board for flat out violating an agreement and embarrassing the guy on public record.
HONEST TO GOD - I did not pay Kevin to agree with me ;-)

I don't know why he has joined my cult... but the number of those that worship Heather is growing... who am I to stop it !!!

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