[Winning] Tonya Boyd Becomes New York Fire Department’s First Black Female Deputy Chief

Capt. Tonya Boyd joined the FDNY’s Emergency Medical Services while in college as a way to make money, said she never dreamed her career would reach such heights...
Photo: New York Daily News

An EMS captain with 21 years on the job becomes the first African-American woman in the FDNY to achieve the rank of deputy chief.

Capt. Tonya Boyd, who joined the FDNY’s Emergency Medical Services while in college as a way to make money, said she never dreamed her career would reach such heights.

“I’m so excited and I am so blessed,” the EMS officer told the Daily News.

“After hearing about the promotion, I couldn’t believe it. I feel like I’ve knocked down a door and opened it for a lot of EMTs just starting on this job,” said Boyd.

“African-American women will see someone who looks like them as a deputy chief and they will know more is possible — their careers won’t top out at paramedic or even lieutenant,” said the captain of Station 39 in Brooklyn.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Boyd’s success was due to her efforts.

“Tonya is not only helping to raise the bar for our ability to provide pre-hospital care, she’s also demonstrating to young women of all backgrounds the incredible rewarding career they can achieve in the FDNY,” Nigro said.

As a young woman growing up in Brooklyn, Boyd, who described herself as “fortysomething,” planned to follow her grandmother into nursing.

But a need for cash while in nursing school sent her looking for work — and a cousin suggested she get an EMT license.

Thanks to classes offered at Brooklyn College, Boyd passed the state exam. On Jan. 27, 1997, she became an official employee of the FDNY.

Read full report at NEW YORK DAILY NEWS.

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