The regular fire services in India started its journey from the major ports and cities like Mumbai, (then Bombay) and Calcutta (now Kolkata). The first Fire Services in Bombay started its function in 1803 in the aftermath of a major fire and initially the Police Force was entrusted the job of firefighting. It was only in 1855, that the Bombay Fire Brigade started its regular Fire Services activities with fire engine drawn by horses. It is believed that Calcutta Fire Brigade was started in 1822 under Commissioner of Calcutta Police. Delhi Fire Services was established way back in 1867. In 1888, Bombay Municipal Corporation Act was enacted and protection of life and properties from fire became the obligatory duty of the Corporation and W. Nichollls of the London Fire Brigade was appointed Chief Fire Officer of Bombay Fire Brigade in 1890. The first Fire Brigade Act was enacted in 1893 in Bengal under which 50 of the annual cost of the Fire Brigade was to be met from the license fee and other 50 from the Municipal revenues. History says, the first petrol driven motor Fire Engine was imported and commissioned in Bombay Fire Brigade in 1907. It is believed that Madras Fire Services started its function in 1908 after a devastating fire in the city. The first Fire Service College in India was established at Rampur, Uttar Pradesh in 1956 as National Fire Service College which was shifted to its present location at Nagpur in 1957.

Fire Services in India comes under the 12th schedule under the provisions of Article 243W of the Constitution. The performance of functions listed in the 12th schedule comes under the domain of Municipalities.

In view of the shortcomings in the Fire Services in different States of the country and the need to upgrade it, the GOI in 1956 formed a Standing Fire Advisory Committee (SFAC) under the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA). The mandate of the committee was to examine the technical problems relating to fire services and to advise the GOI for speedy development and up gradation of Fire Services all over the country. This committee was renamed as the Standing Fire Advisory Council (SFAC) in 1980.

Sr No. Year City Fire Service
1 1803 Bombay The Bombay fire brigade was officially formed and formally placed under the police as a part-time function.
2 1822  Calcutta The fire service in Calcutta was organized under the Calcutta Police.
3 1893   Srinagar The Fire & Emergency Services, J&K was established in the year 1893 as Srinagar Fire Brigade
4 1896  Delhi Delhi is believed to have had a fire brigade in 1867, but the organized form of fire station is claimed to have been started in 1896 and was under the Municipal Corporation
5 1908 Madras The Madras city fire brigade was established by the Municipal Corporation of Madras.
6 1942 Bangalore Fire & Emergency Services in Karnataka was first established in the year 1942 in Bangalore South & North under the administrative control of the Police department
Source: Chapter-2, Page -9 of National Disaster Management Guidelines—Scaling, Type of Equipment and Training of Fire Services A publication of the National Disaster Management Authority, Government of India
Source: Official web site of J&K Fire & Emergency Services
Source: Official web site of Karnataka Fire and Emergency Services