A woman from Goa has made history as India's first female firefighter at an Aerodrome Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) unit. Disha Govind Naik broke barriers of gender by becoming the first woman certified to operate a crash fire tender. Naik has been deployed at the Manohar International Airport at Mopa in Goa since July 2022, making her the first certified female firefighter from the State.
Disha Naik applied for the position in 2021 at the Manohar International Airport, with a dream to don a uniform, she told Prudent Media Goa. Soon after finding a vacancy for an airport firefighter job, she applied and got a call for an interview in no time. Naik underwent extensive training for over six months before getting certified.
Although the profession is male-dominated, Disha Naik's parents fully supported her in her dream to become a firefighter. Hailing from Casarvarnem, Pernem in Goa, Naik's parents said that she has always been keen on physically demanding activities since childhood.
Naik embarked on her firefighter journey when she applied for the position in November 2021. After clearing all prerequisites, Naik underwent rigorous external training at Namakkal in Tamil Nadu, equipping her with the skills and knowledge necessary for the demanding role of a Crash Fire Tender operator.
Upon completing her comprehensive training, Disha Naik faced evaluation by a special board of experts from across the country, who assessed her driving and operational skills. Her exemplary performance resulted in her certification as the nation’s first woman firefighter authorised to operate the CFT, specially designed for aircraft rescue and fire-fighting.
Naik officially joined the Aerodrome Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) department on July 1, 2022, marking her as the first certified woman fire-fighter from the State. Announcing the ground-breaking achievement, the CEO of the GMR Goa International Airport Limited (GGIAL), R V Sheshan, said, “With women comprising approximately 20 per cent of its workforce, it is dedicated to maintaining gender diversity and ensuring equal growth opportunities for all employees.”
A spokesperson for Manohar International Airport told the media, "Naik's journey is a testament to her unwavering determination and extensive training, embodying the spirit of empowerment and equal opportunity championed by GGIAL."