Firemen Reach Out to a Fan

Written by Mike Siroky. Posted in Community News, Featured, People in the News

Published on October 10, 2012 with No Comments

Jordan Yaros-Patches

Jordan Yaros in his fireman hat and jacket, with a set of patches from his collection.

Jordan Yaros has too many patches from around the world to count

In a world dominated by silence, little Jordan Yaros has managed to speak volumes to firemen all over the country and has been rewarded with many special friend connections.

Jordan is autistic and does not speak. His main communication method is by nodding, mostly to “yes” and “no” questions. He is being mainstreamed into a regular classroom this year for the first grade, after preparing with tutors up until now.

His mom and dad, Gloria and Joseph, say their son is just like any other child in most respects. He has two sisters, Lindsay and Kelly. They live in Portage.

Joseph has been a volunteer fireman, at South Haven and in Burns Harbor.

“Maybe that’s where it started,” Joseph said.

Jordan Yaros-Patches

Jordan proudly displays one of his favorite patches from the City of New York Fire Department.

He said Jordan used to follow him around when younger, doing what the family calls “chattering” which was mainly repeating phrases about “dad.”

“But he has gotten quieter every year and that is normal for autism,” said Joseph. “But he is as smart as a whip. Especially with Lindsay; he adores his older sister. We always intended to mainstream him.”

Knowing his son’s affinity for all things firefighting and knowing each squad has at least a personal patch, “I sent just a couple of e-mails to some other departments,” said Joseph.

And so it began.

“He’s really into all the patches we’ve collected,” Joseph said. “At first, he wanted to put them all on his jacket. But (the collection) has gotten so big it is unbelievable. They are all in frames now.”

As Joseph said, whenever you start a project especially for the love of a child, “you never know how great it’s going to turn out.

“They started flowing in, from Dallas to Nashville, to Santa Rosa, California,” Joseph said. “New York City, but then Dublin, Ireland, South Wales, England, Montreal (with a letter written in French), a military base in Iraq . . .””

Jordan’s reaction is priceless for his family.

“He just smiles,” Joseph said. “He sees the mailman coming and, if it is before you see him, it is a race to the mailbox. One day he was even in the backyard and still beat everyone to the mailman.

David Land, the assistant chief in Valpo, has taken a real liking to him, Joseph said.  That is just one of the many local fire departments which has given the Yaros family a personal tour.

“For Memphis, all I asked for was a patch,” Joseph said. “We came home and there was this big box sitting on the table from the Memphis Fire Department. They sent a ‘Challenge Coin,’ which is made especially for their department. They sent two Matchbox fire trucks and a DVD on home fire safety. It has Sesame Street characters. That was over and beyond.”

That movie quickly joined others dad has purchased from eBay on the most-watched videos list for father and son. “I sit there and watch them with him and he just smiles,” Joseph said.

A new favorite series coming up on the Me-TV channel is the 1970s television show, Emergency.  “He loves that, too,” Joseph said. “We’ve watched some episodes on Netflix. He has his emergency box all ready, like a paramedic.”

Coincidentally, one of the departments they have visited has an adult autistic paramedic on staff and they have told Joseph he is one of their best. Jordan liked that.

“He is like a kid in a candy store when we visit those departments,” Joseph said.

At the Memorial Day Parade, Brandon Cotton, the assistant chief in South Haven, came up to them on the parade route and had more patches: The one from Iraq, Michigan City and, of course, South Haven.

Come Halloween, there is little doubt how Jordan will appear.

“Well, he always wears his firefighter’s jacket. One year, boom, he just wanted to be Buzz Lightyear,” Joseph said. “So we had him all ready for that and on Halloween he came out . . . and was a fireman, of course.”

Be Sociable, Share!

Share This Article

About Mike Siroky


All opinions, conclusions or recommendations expressed in the above excellent column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Chronicle. Mike Siroky is a writer and editor. He is a native of Northwest Indiana. He has worked in media from coast to coast. To contact Mike, email mikel@the chronicleNWI.com

Browse Archived Articles by

No Comments

There are currently no comments on Firemen Reach Out to a Fan. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.