Tonya Boyd, the FDNY’s first Black female deputy chief, likes to regale young emergency medical technicians with stories about what the job was like when she started 25 years ago.
There were no motorized stretchers to absorb the weight of heavy patients. There was no equipment to protect EMTs if they were caught in a fire.
There were also no Black women with the title of deputy chief.
Boyd, 53, changed all that in 2017 when she became the first African-American woman in the FDNY to achieve the rank. She will make New York City history again on Friday when she and another deputy chief become the first Black women to become division chiefs within the EMS command.
“It’s something I look forward to,” Boyd said. “The best part of the job is just motivating and inspiring members.”