NOLA EMS names liaison to LGBTQ communities
In his liaison role, emergency medical technician Tracy “TJ” Boyd Jr.’s duties will include training first responders on health care conditions that frequently affect LGBTQ people
Ramon Antonio Vargas
The Advocate, Baton Rouge, La.
NEW ORLEANS — New Orleans’ Emergency Medical Services on Monday named an agency liaison with members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer communities, whose members can sometimes be reluctant to seek help from first responders when they need it, according to city officials.
In his liaison role, emergency medical technician Tracy “TJ” Boyd Jr.’s duties will include training first responders on health care conditions that frequently affect LGBTQ people, as well as “respectful practices when caring for these individuals” before many of them are turned over to hospital staffs, EMS said in a statement.
"As a member of the gay community, I am honored to be chosen for this position," Boyd said in a statement released by the city. “My main goal is to continue nurturing and developing a strong relationship between the LGBTQ+ community and the city of New Orleans public safety team.”
Boyd’s appointment comes amid a series of moves by city officials aimed at building trust with — and fostering respect for — LGBTQ individuals.
Two years ago, following an outcry over the February 2017 killings of transgender women Chyna Gibson and Ciara McElveen, the New Orleans Police Department appointed its own LGBTQ liaison, Sgt. Frank Robertson, whose duties include becoming a point of contact on incidents affecting those communities.
Meanwhile, on March 20, Mayor LaToya Cantrell combined the city’s Human Relations Commission and LGBTQ+ Task Force into the Office of Human Rights and Equity, whose mandate is to address disparities affecting racial minorities as well as LGBTQ people.
EMS officials said Boyd’s appointment was made in anticipation of Pride Month in June, an annual celebration of achievements by LGBTQ people. About two weeks ago, EMS gave employees the option to purchase and wear distinctive, rainbow-colored badges as a nod to Pride Month.
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