FDNY Crowns Tonya Boyd As First African-American Woman To Become Deputy Chief


A veteran Emergency Medical Services (EMS) captain has made history within the FDNY’s chain of command. According to the New York Daily News, Capt. Tonya Boyd became the first African-American woman to hold the title of deputy chief.

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The Brooklyn native has served with the FDNY for 21 years and believes her promotion will inspire women who look like her to unabashedly feed their passion. “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,” she said.

As a means of having a steady source of income while taking classes at Brooklyn College, Boyd first became a paramedic before she climbed the ladder of ascension to lieutenant, captain, and now deputy chief.

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“After hearing about the promotion, I couldn’t believe it,” Boyd said to the news site. “I feel like I’ve knocked down a door and opened it for a lot of EMTs just starting on this job.” The NYDN notes that 35 percent of workers in the EMT and paramedics field are women. On the firefighter side, lawyer Yetta Kurland said, “only a handful of women” become captains, and that number is even smaller when discussing deputy chiefs.

Tags: FDNY, Tonya Boyd