“I come from a cultural background where women, especially women of color, are not encouraged to be in this line of work. It is seen as male dominant and I wanted to change that,” said Station 27 Rescue Paramedic Monica Lewis, who joined the FDNY in 2008.
Born and raised in The Bronx, Monica has moved up the ranks within the Department, starting as an Emergency Medical Technician and has then become a Paramedic, Haz-Tac Paramedic, Haz-Tac Instructor, Rescue Paramedic and Rescue Instructor, as well as become a member of Urban Search and Rescue and New York Task Force 1. Most recently, she was also part of the all-women team sent to compete in the 2022 Journal of Emergency Medical Services (JEMS) Conference and Expo in Indiana in April.
“I took an EMT course in college as an elective and my professor told me that I’d actually be good at this and to apply for the FDNY. At the time, I never thought they would call me and once they did, the rest is history,” Lewis recalled.
“Like any career, this job has its ups and downs, but the ups are solidifying enough to keep me here and encourage me to do more. Ultimately, I’ve always wanted to do something that involved helping others and at the same time, be a role model for my kids, and through this Department I’ve achieved that,” Lewis added. “If you step out far enough from your comfort zone that you forget how to go back, that is when you will begin to change, grow, and transform.”
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