Reach: Ford - Stories of Strength 2020_October 2020
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Now here’s some seriously uplifting news!

Captain Tonya Boyd will become the first African-American woman in the New York Fire Department to be the deputy chief on November 2, 2017.

Boyd joined the FDNY’s Emergency Medical Services while attending college as a way to pay her tuition. While doing that, she had no idea her career would take off like this.

“I am so excited and so blessed,” she expressed to the New York Daily News.

Boyd sees the importance of this honor as she explained, “I feel like I’ve knocked down a door and opened it for a lot of EMT’s just starting on this job.”

Even better, Boyd represents a symbol of encouragement to all in the African-American community proving that you can accomplish anything.

“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 explained.

The Station 39 captain never thought she’d be in the fire department; she saw herself following in the footsteps of her grandmother who was a nurse.

The need for money to pay for nursing school led her to look into getting an EMT license suggested by her cousin.

She took classes at Brooklyn College, passed her exams and became an official EMT on January 27, 1997. Right after that, Mayor Rudy Giuliani combined the city’s struggling 911 EMS system with the Fire Department that wasn’t readily accepted by everyone in the FDNY.

From there she wanted to grow and focused on becoming a paramedic.

“The FDNY offered a wonderful program that let us go to school from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.,” she explained. “I became a paramedic after about seven years.”

With dedication and endurance, Boyd kept moving up to lieutenant and now captain.

For the first time in 150 years, the FDNY will have an African-American woman as a deputy chief and will be the highest ranked Black woman in the entire department.

Now that’s some Black Girl Magic!

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(Source: New York Daily News)

(Photo Credit: ThinkStock Image)

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