On December 18, 1988, the Department responded to a house fire at 19800 88th Avenue at the Howell residence. One and a half year old Joey Howell was rescued from the house by Richard Bass. Richard Bass was presented with a plaque for his heroic deed by the Mokena Fire Protection District. In 1989, a Chevy Impala station wagon was purchased as a Chief's car, replacing the 1981 Ford Fairmont Station Wagon M-l. In September, 1989, the District hired Linda Grote as its first Administrative Secretary. Also in 1989, a new Ford diesel pickup truck for fighting grass fires and general utility work was purchased. This became unit #1518.
On September 13, 1982, the Department battled a fire at Our Place Tavern located at the northeast corner of LaPorte and Wolf Roads for three hours. The early morning fire required assistance from several neighboring towns. The fire was later ruled to be arson. In June, 1983, Ted Golden was hired full-time as the District's Code Enforcement Officer. In 1983, 1511, a Pierce 1,250 GPM pumper with 750 gallon water tank on a Ford Cab-over crew cab chassis was purchased, which replaced old #96 pumper which was sold to Alexander Fire Department in southern Illinois. With the purchase of this pumper, firefighters no longer rode the back step of the engine.
On July 4, 1980, the Village of Mokena's 100th anniversary parade was held. Fifty fire trucks, including the City of Chicago, participated. In 1981, M-1, Chief's car, a Ford Fairmont station wagon was purchased. The Chi Cap Tank Farm fire in September, 1981, pointed the need for more 1 1/2" foam equipment and 500 gallons of AFFF Foam. This fire was the result of a lightning strike.
In 1983, 1512, a Pierce 1,250 GPM pumper with 1,000 gallon water tank on a Ford Cab-over crew cab chassis was purchased, which replaced old #98 pumper which was sold to the Saunemin Fire Department in Illinois. Tom Wiencek resigned as Assistant Chief. Shaun Kropp was appointed as his replacement. In March, 1984, the Insurance Rating Office, (I.S.O.), awarded Mokena a Class 7 rating for the rural area and a Class 5 for the city. Mokena was the first in the state, to receive these low rural ratings. In September, 1984, Ted Golden was appointed Assistant Chief, replacing Shaun Kropp.
In October, 1984, the Department won Second Place in the State Fire Prevention contest in its population class. On August 22, 1984, a fire occurred in the middle of the night at 10719 Green Meadow Lane in a 3-story, 12-unit apartment building. Fire fighters rescued 12 people, using ladders and rescue on person as a result of an interior search. The only serious injury was to an occupant who jump from a second floor balcony breaking a bone. The Department was awarded a $10,000.00 Federal Fire Prevention Grant. In 1985, a Ford Econo1ine van #99, designed as a Rescue Squad and Fire Prevention unit, was bought. This replaced old #99 bought in 1971. This new van became 1515, a backup ambulance in 1988. William Haas was appointed Trustee in April, 1987, replacing Fred Rauch.
For a long period of time, rescue work and first aid was the subject of much discussion in the Department and in the local press. The question of Department owned and operated ambulances versus utilizing the services of local and nearby ambulance operators was under constant pressure to be resolved. In November, 1985, a referendum to create an Ambulance District was defeated. Another referendum was presented in November, 1988 and passed. In 1988, the Department purchased a Road Rescue Modular ambulance on a Ford E chasses for the Paramedic Service. This was assigned Unit #1514. This replaced the 1975 Pierce rescue truck. Also in 1988, six full-time paramedics, contracted through Metro Paramedics, started on 24/48 hour shifts. In October, 1988, during the Department's Fire Prevention Open House, the display sign in front of the station was dedicated in memory of Ken Warning, who served the Department for 40 years. In 1988, the Dodge/Pierce mini pumper was sold to Salina Volunteer Fire Department in Bonfield, IL.