Protection of Life is one of the prime responsibilities of the Government. It is seen that Fire has been the major reason for the destruction of life, as much as it has been a vital means of the source of sustenance for mankind. The society has long recognized the importance of organized fire-fighting services and preventive measures. However, during the regime of Portuguese in Goa, they have never felt the necessity of an organized Fire Service set-up. The instances of unfriendly major fires were unheard of in those days. Yet there were stray incidents on few occasions, where major fires were checked and extinguished by Military men, not with sophisticated fire equipment, but by manual efforts of the bucket brigade. After liberation, the police took the responsibility to protect life and property from fire. But there was no full-fledged Fire Service Department in Goa worth the name till 1984. Until then a puny fire cell was hosed in the Police Headquarters at Panaji under the control of Inspector General of Police. The Fire Service which worked as an adjunct to police was ill-trained and ill-equipped to meet the growing challenges and responsibility. The dramatic leap in Goa’s socio-economic progress due to rapid industrialization & urbanization coupled with the increased scale of economic activities and government operation had warranted the setting up of Organized Fire department.
The Government was fully conscious of the importance of this vital service and were keen to bring about all possible improvement. However, the situation had not changed until 1983 when Goa was chosen as a venue to Common-Wealth Heads of Government Retreat meet.
Since Fire Service in Goa was grossly inadequate, we had to depend on Fire Units from neighboring places like Bombay and Bangalore. After the meet was over, the Government decided to constitute this service as a corollary to development for industrialization and urbanization and thus separated the Fire Service from Police department and established a Directorate of Fire Services in 1984 for strengthening, streaming and developing the Fire Services in the State. While a number of major states in the Country have not realized the importance of this vital service, the then Government of Goa headed by Shri Pratapsingh Raoji Rane in consultation with the Lt. Governor Shri.K.T.Satarawala had taken a giant step forward to professionalize the service to aid the citizens in times of distress. This step has genuinely contributed to the development of fire Service on a sound footing.