Meet Disha Naik, India's First Female Airport Firefighter

By: WE Staff

Disha Naik, a young girl from Goa creates history by becoming India’s first female airport firefighter showcasing an exemplary performance, dedication, and urge to prove herself.

In the dynamic world of aviation, where precision, courage, and quick thinking are paramount, Indian women are breaking barriers and redefining traditional gender roles and these sections of the Indian army are who stand out not just for their dedication but also for shattering stereotypes – Indian female airport firefighters.

In an industry historically dominated by men, women have courageously stepped into the demanding role of airport firefighting, demonstrating that gender should never be a barrier to pursuing one's passion and contributing to critical sectors. India received its first young female airport firefighter, Disha Naik who is well committed and persistent towards her goal and journey. Disha chose not just to navigate the skies but also to tackle the demanding and crucial role of aircraft firefighting, ensuring the safety and security of aviation operations across the nation.

Goan resident Disha is the country's first female airport-certified firefighter. At Manohar International Airport (MIA) Mopa, she joined as a crash fire tender (CFT) operator in 2021 for the Aerodrome Rescue and Firefighting (ARFF) unit.

An Arduous Journey

Disha Naik had a difficult but life-changing journey to become a firefighter. She indicated interest in piloting the Crash Fire Tender (CFT), which is specifically made for aircraft rescue and firefighting, after joining the department. She completed a demanding six-month external training program in Namakkal, Tamilnadu, which gave her the knowledge and abilities needed for the challenging position of CFT operator along with expert instruction on the Rosenbauer Crash Fire Tender. She became the first certified female firefighter on 1 July 2022, when she formally joined the department after putting in unwavering dedication to meet all requirements.

Disha as a woman underwent the same testing as her male counterparts and was not provided any kind of alleviation or special treatment. After comprehensive training, she faced an evaluation round where her driving and operational skills were tested by a special board of delegates. She showcased an extraordinary performance during the process and was certified as the first lady firefighter to operate a crash fire tender that is specifically made for the rescue and firefighting of aircraft.

What is the role of a Crash Fire Tender (CFT):

Crash Fire Tenders and the dedicated personnel operating them play a crucial role in safeguarding the aviation industry by ensuring a swift and effective response to emergencies on and around airports. CFT is used to respond rapidly to aircraft emergencies, such as accidents, fires, or any other incidents that may occur during takeoff, landing, or while the aircraft is on the ground. The personnel operating CFTs undergo rigorous training to handle diverse emergency scenarios. This includes firefighting techniques, rescue operations, and familiarization with different aircraft types.

An Illustrious Career

Disha has completed her graduation from the University of Toronto with a Master of Science in Physical Therapy and is a licensed physiotherapist. She had previously earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Manitoba.

Disha has achieved many laurels in her career, and this is evidence of her unwavering perseverance and meticulous preparation. Her historic achievement in airport firefighting signifies GGIAL's commitment to diversity and empowerment, breaking barriers and creating equal opportunities in the field.

R V Sheshan, CEO, GGIAL, stated that GGIAL is dedicated to fostering and developing its employees' talent. They are committed to promoting a culture of learning that supports workers' success and keeps them competitive in the quickly evolving business world. He continues "Women constitute around 20 per cent of GGIAL's workforce, and we are dedicated to maintaining gender diversity and providing equal growth opportunities."