NEW YORK (PIX11) — The FDNY has been making all the difference in how EMTs and other frontline workers respond to calls. The goal of the department’s diversity training is to make the transgender community feel more comfortable calling 911.
The transgender sensitivity training is taught by firefighter Brooke Guinan, who knows what it is like to be on the other side of the uniform, needing the help of emergency services while battling depression. She used her personal experience to help write the lesson plan.
“I remember being a trans person dialing 911,” Guinan told PIX11 News, “and genuinely being fearful … I didn’t know how they were going to interact with me, or treat me, or if they would see my humanity.”
Fellow transgender firefighter Krys Freebes said representation matters.
“At the end of the day, we are all humans,” Freebes said. “We all have feelings, we all have emotions. We just wanted to be treated with respect.”
New York City Mayor Eric Adams announced that City Hall, as well as other municipal buildings, will be lit up in light blue, pink and white to commemorate International Transgender Day of Visibility. The day is an important moment to celebrate all transgender people and to acknowledge that many continue to face discrimination violence, and harassment.
“New York City has a place for everyone at the table, especially for our transgender community,” Adams said. “On International Transgender Day of Visibility, we celebrate the tremendous contributions of transgender people, reaffirm our commitment to standing up against hate and continue to strive as a city to provide the resources needed for our transgender community to thrive.”