Black HERstory: Tonya Boyd Becomes First African American Woman Deputy Chief of FDNY

by Jessica Lane

February 2, 2018

One more “first” to celebrate this Black History Month! Tonya Boyd made history as the first black woman deputy chief of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY).

“When I started in this position, I didn’t see any African American women in my title at all,” said Boyd. “I am the first in 150 years of the fire department system, so I’m very proud and thrilled to be here.”

This FDNY veteran has 21 years of service within the department, ABC NY reports. She’s worked as an EMT, paramedic, lieutenant, captain and now, one of the highest positions within the FDNY, deputy chief.

“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,” said Boyd to the New York Daily News.

Boyd officially received her promotion late last year and, according to the Vulcan Society (a fraternal organization of African-American fire department employees), she is the highest-ranking black woman in the entire department.

Only a few women make it to captain and even less to deputy chief. Thank you, Tonya Boyd, for shattering both ceilings and paving the way for Black officers across the FDNY!

TELL US: What other Black first will you be celebrating this Black History Month?

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