Levin Volunteer Fire Brigade has a shiny new red fire engine, it just needs more fire fighters to fill it.

The new Iveco truck with just 2698km on the clock arrived this month, and has a semi-automated pump that can deliver almost 50 per cent more water than the truck it replaced.

The new truck has a capacity to produce 2900 litres per minute and its speciality was fire fighting, joining another truck at the Levin station that specialised in emergency response.

The new truck is one of just four of its type in New Zealand. Its three sister trucks were stationed in Gore, Balclutha and Wellington.

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Assistant Area Commander Ian Penn said new trucks are assigned to an area proportionate to risk. The population of the Horowhenua region is growing, and forecast to grow even more once major expressways north of Wellington are complete.

"It will be able to serve the community for many years to come," he said.

The old Levin truck, with a capacity of 2000 litres per minute, is headed to Martinborough. Major city centres had even larger trucks.

The brand new fire truck at the Levin station.
The brand new fire truck at the Levin station.

But like all volunteer organisations, the Levin service needs new recruits and new blood. There are 28 volunteers on the books, but more are needed. Ideally they need 35 to 40.

Levin volunteers are some of the busiest in the country and have already answered more than 350 calls so far this year, he said. Generally they do more than 400 a year.

"It is a national issue. People's lifestyles are busier and a lot of staff can't get release from work. We are always looking for new staff and people that are keen to help," he said, as it often required volunteers to be on call between 7am and 6pm.

"It's a changing environment for fire and emergency. A lot of calls are medical or motor vehicle emergencies."

He said there is even more of a squeeze during the school holiday period.

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"These are modern times. Everybody works and has to take time off during the school holiday period and we struggle to get staff."

"People are more transient these days and we have a high turnover of staff."

Volunteers didn't necessarily have to fight fires and attend emergencies and there were spaces available in administration and volunteer support.

"We try and cater for anybody that wants to volunteer and give something back to the community," he said.

As well as Levin, there are fire services at Waitarere Beach, Foxton, Foxton Beach and Shannon.

He said being a volunteer fire fighter is extremely rewarding, especially when a volunteer played a role in saving a life or preventing the loss of life.

Anyone wanting to become a volunteer fire fighter could approach their local fire station or visit the Fire emergency website recruitment page at fireandemergency.nz