Photo by Christian Lendl on Unsplash

    ¡Prepárate! {Click to listen to episode 16}   

In recognition of Women’s History Month, the latest episode of New York City Emergency Management’s Spanish podcast ¡Prepárate!, features Esther Ford, an EMT member with the New York City Fire Department. The 15-year veteran shares why she joined the department, her leadership role with the FDNY Hispanic Society, and the impact she hopes to make in her Bronx community as an Afro-Latina of Garifuna heritage. Garifuna people are descendants of mixed free African and Indigenous Americans who originated in the Caribbean island of Saint Vincent. In addition to Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Garifuna people and culture are found in Honduras and Belize.

“One of the most rewarding aspects of my job, is that I come in contact with people during what sometimes can be a very traumatic experience, and I’m there to provide assistance,” said Esther Ford, an emergency medical service member with the New York City Fire Department. “And while that is often the way we interact with the community, it is also important to be visible during non-emergencies, to provide education on how to prepare for medical emergencies. To me personally, it is also important to be a role model for the next generation of African American and Afro-Latinos interested in civil service careers.” 

Born and raised in the Bronx, Esther is a member of the Vulcan Society, an advocacy group for African American firefighters within the department. She is also a member of the FDNY Hispanic Society, where she serves as EMS Bronx North Delegate. Esther is a founding member of The Garifuna Law Enforcement Association, founded in 2018, the group’s mission is to empower Garifunas in their field, and to support those interested in civil service careers.

You can listen to the latest ¡Prepárate! episode on SoundCloud.


Esther Ford  joined the New York City Fire Department EMS in June 2008 and works primarily in the Bronx. She is a graduate of Aquinas High School in the Bronx and received her bachelor’s degree in mass media and communications from The College of New Rochelle. She became interested in FDNY after meeting a recruiter at an event at Lehman College.