The National Fire Department is involved in protection of human life, safeguarding property and the environment from damage or danger of fire damage from accidental situations and industrial risks, including those arising from the use of nuclear energy.
In the event of natural disasters, the Fire Department can be immediately activated as the operational structure of the National System of Civil Protection and provides technical assistance and immediate relief to their respective powers and respecting the level of coordination envisaged by the legislation of Civil Protection. To cope better with disasters, fire fighters work through the mobile columns of regional aid, consisting of an even number of employed men and means.
The National Fire Department, as well as ensuring urgent technical assistance in the area, provides information on the consequences of the event, to determine a first estimate of fatalities, injuries and people who need assistance. In addition, the Department provides its mobile operative centres, activate stability checks of the buildings in order to house operative centres and coordination of the system of relief, provide operational support and logistical assistance for emergency lodgings of people involved and to secure facilities, infrastructure and cultural heritage
In case of forest fires, the Fire Department makes available resources, equipment and personnel necessary to the regions to carry out active fight and promote the study and testing of measures and standards to prevent fires or limit their impact.
In addition, the Fire Department personnel and special equipment to compete with the forest fire prevention campaigns through specific agreements with the regions. In addition to the active struggle also engage with prevention patrols in the area. It also promotes studies and tests of measures and standards to prevent fires or limit their consequences
On April 16, 2008 a Framework Agreement between the Fire Department and the State Forestry Commission was signed, establishing guidelines for coordination and intervention on the territory. The agreement provides that the staff of the National Fire Department takes over direction and coordination of fire-fighting operations, when fires involve geographic locations where the urban-rural and forest areas are close, as there is a greatest risk for the population. The State Forestry Commission, however, directs and coordinates the operations and is responsible for the intervention of the aircrafts, wherever the protection of the environment is of primary importance, whereas the firefighters are involved in the defense of civil and industrial settlements, infrastructure and people. L’accordo promuove, infine, un coordinamento tra il Direttore delle operazioni di spegnimento del Corpo forestale dello Stato e il Responsabile delle Operazioni di Soccorso dei Vigili del Fuoco, qualora gli incendi boschivi minaccino con la stessa intensità sia l'ambiente, sia i centri abitati, al fine di ottimizzare gli interventi di spegnimento e assicurare la tutela delle persone e dei beni. L'attività di coordinamento delle due strutture nei periodi a rischio di incendi boschivi è assicurata dalle Sale Operative Unificate Permanenti - Soup, in cui sono presenti sia i rappresentanti della Forestale, sia quelli dei Vigili del Fuoco. Finally, the agreement promotes coordination between the Director of Operations and the State Forestry and the head of fire-fighting operations of the Fire Department, where forest fires are threatening with the same intensity and the environment, both centers settlements, in order to optimize the operations off and ensure the protection of persons and property. The coordination of the two structures during a wildfire risk is addressed by the Sale Operative Unificate Permanenti - Soup, in which there are both representatives of the Forest, and those of the Fire Department.