FDNY EMS captain becomes dept.’s first black female deputy chief

Capt. Tonya Boyd, a 21-year veteran, will be the highest-ranking black woman in the department

By EMS1 Staff

NEW YORK — A veteran FDNY EMS captain became the first black woman to be promoted to the deputy chief rank in the department.

NY Daily News reported that Captain Tonya Boyd, a 21-year EMS veteran, was promoted Thursday, marking the first time in more than 150 years that the FDNY will have a black woman as a deputy chief.

Regina Wilson, FDNY firefighter and heady of the Vulcan Society, said Chief Boyd will be the highest-ranked black woman in the department.

“It’s a proud moment for the department to have a woman of color reach such a rank and we hope there will be many more to follow,” Wilson said.

Chief Boyd said she started her EMS career as a way to make money during college, and never expected it to go this far.

“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,” Chief Boyd said. “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.”

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro said Chief Boyd earned her success through her efforts.

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


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