Lake Okareka Volunteer Rural Fire Force chief fire officer Phil Muldoon said their 33-year-old Dodge RG15 fire appliance was almost on its last legs and needed urgent replacement.
Their current machine was continually failing Certificate of Fitness tests for various issues and in January failed a pressure pump test.
"It now poses a significant risk to the safety of our volunteers and the effectiveness of responding to emergencies," he said.
Mr Muldoon said the organisation's "dream machine" would be a brand new Fraser Type 34 Heavy Pumper, built by Fraser Engineering in Wellington, that costs about $320,000.
He said they would prefer not to replace their secondhand machine with another secondhand unit.
"Our fire appliance ... has responded to 12 incidents so far this year. These include two motor vehicle accidents where passengers were trapped."
He said they were slightly different from other rural fire forces in the district in that they required a machine that could transport its own water as well as receiving water from fire hydrants.
The Lake Okareka Volunteer Rural Fire Force was formed 29 years ago and boasts the proud record of never missing a call-out.
Mr Muldoon said their 18 volunteers service about 500 people in Lake Okareka and surrounding areas and attend callouts ranging from car crashes, medical emergencies, road blockages and, of course, fires.
Rural Fire Forces are funded by local council's with the Rotorua District Council putting $60,000 into this year's budget for a replacement appliance.
The National Rural Fire Authority has also given them $60,000.
Mr Muldoon said they had applied for funding from a number of local and national organisations including the BayTrust, First Sovereign, Grassroots Trust, the NZ Community Trust, the Rotorua Trust and the Lion Foundation.
Rotorua District Council chief executive Peter Guerin said the council expected to replace the old appliance by the end of this year.
Rotorua has three rural fire forces, based at Rotoiti East, Tarawera and Okareka.
The Lake Okareka Volunteer Rural Fire Force is an incorporated society and is registered with the New Zealand Charities Commission. Mr Muldoon can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Matthew Martin | Rotorua Daily Post