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New York City Fire Department Appoints First Black Female Deputy Chief

New York City Fire Department Appoints First Black Female Deputy Chief

Photo via: FDNY

For the first time in more than 150 years, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) will have an African American woman as its deputy chief. 

Tonya Boyd, an Emergency Medical Service (EMS) captain who comes to the position with nearly 21 years of experience, says she never dreamed her career would reach such heights after joining FDNY’s EMS in college.

"I'm so excited and I’m so blessed," she tells the NY 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.

During her time in nursing school, Boyd was looking for a way to make some money when her cousin suggested she get an EMT license. After taking classes at Brooklyn College and passing the state exam, she joined the FDNY as an official employee on Jan. 27, 1997, and as many would say the rest is history.

Seven years later, she became a paramedic and from there she worked her way up to lieutenant and then captain.

Now, as the highest-ranking Black woman in the entire department, Boyd's new position will serve as inspiration for other women of color to go after new career opportunities.

"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 Boyd, who served as captain of Station 39 in Brooklyn.

Congratulations, Capt. Tonya Boyd- or should we say Deputy Chief Boyd!