In the pre-colonial
era, before the existence of Fire Service, fires were controlled
by Traditional rulers, using the Asafo Companies (Traditional
Soldiers) to combat all kinds of fires in their Communities and
It was not until 1955
before the Colonial Government found the need to re-organise the
various Asafo Companies into vibrant groups to tackle both
domestic and bushfires, as there were only a few industries.
With the restructuring
of the political administration of the Gold Coast into the Local
Government concept, a lot of the members of the Asafo Companies
opted to become employees of the Local Government Institutions
in the Country. In time the responsibility of fire fighting
became a duty of the Police Force.
As towns developed into
municipalities, municipal councils as well as some Government
agencies with fire hazards formed their fire brigades. The idea
of a National Fire Service was conceived in 1955 when the
colonial Government invited Mr. S.M. Charters (ORE) of Her
Majesty’s Inspectorate of Fire Service into the Country and to,
among other things, advice on the organisation and establishment
of Fire Service in Municipalities and in certain urban towns.
In 1962, the Government
of Ghana employed the Services of a Fire Advisory expert, Mr.
G.S. Leader, under the United Kingdom-Ghana Technical Assistance
Programme to help formulate a policy on the formation of a
National Fire Service which had long been contemplated.
In 1963 by Act of
Parliament (Fire Service Act 1963; Act 219) the Ghana National
Fire Service was born from the then fragmented Railways, Ports
and Harbours Kumasi City, Accra City, and the Sekondi / Takoradi
Municipal Fire Brigades. These Brigades had hitherto existed as
separate entities under government departments or municipal
The Ghana National
Fire Service was established in 1963 by Act 219 with the primary
aim of fire fighting and extinguishment, and to render
humanitarian services. Subsequently, in 1997 the Ghana National
Fire Service Act (Act 537), was enacted to re-establish the
Ghana National Fire Service with the objective for the
prevention and management of undesired fires and other related
matters with an expanded mandate.