Jail nurse takes care of inmates

Published 9:06 pm Wednesday, July 28, 2004

By By LYDIA GRIMES Feature Reporter
Tammy McMullen was born into a warm and loving family and she carries that trait into her present job of working at the Escambia County Detention Center as nurse to the inmates. To some people that might not sound like a job they would want to have, but McMullen is different. She is ever mindful of the people she associates with every day.
Watching her with the inmates, one gets the feeling that she does indeed care for everyone and that care is returned. They are very polite to her and she has a gentle word for them. It would appear that the sheriff's department has the right person looking after the needs of the people who are incarcerated at the county jail.
McMullen was born in Pensacola and grew up in a family that seemed to be directed toward law enforcement. Her father, Don Grant, was in private investigation for a long while and then came to the Escambia County Sheriff's Office. He later transferred and became director of the ABC board in this area. She even married into law enforcement when she married Chuck McMullen who also works with the sheriff's department.
McMullen says that she was not the type to be in ballet and have little tea parties. She liked to play outside and could have been considered a "tomboy" by many. Her parents tried to make a dainty little girl out of her but it just was not her way. She graduated from Milton High School and went to Southeastern Bible College in Lakeland, Fla.
When her dad got a job in Brewton, McMullen was working at a local Pizza Hut, so she got herself transferred to the Pizza Hut in Brewton. It was there that she met her husband, Chuck. They were married and were soon the parents of two young sons, Grant, age 13 and Garrett, age 9. She had started school to become a registered nurse while she was pregnant with Grant, but after his birth, she stayed home with him.
Later, when the boys were a bit older, she still had the desire to go into nursing, so she decided to go to Reid State Technical College to become an LPN because she could do that and still spend time with her children. She obtained her license and worked for a while at various nursing jobs.
She received a phone call from her husband one day saying that the nursing position was open at the jail. She didn't know if she wanted to do that kind of work, but she knew that she would be working near her husband. She decided to give it a try.
McMullen has always had a dream of having her own child care business and that dream may be just around the corner. She has been thinking about it for a long time and wants to take care of special needs children. One of the children she has been taking care of is Rebecca Ann Moore who is on a breathing machine and can't cry or speak right now.
Just recently she and her husband discussed the matter and they believe the time has come for her to have her own special needs day care.
During these years the McMullens were hard at work being foster parents. They worked for three years at a boys ranch where they looked after a house full of boys. Over the years they have been foster parents to about 18 children and at the present time, they are the foster parents to two children.
She said that she has to prepare herself for the time when each child leaves her home, but she believes that she has helped make life a little better for each one until they move on to a better home.
It is quite clear that the jail's loss will be someone else's gain. She is a most caring and thoughtful person and the world doesn't have enough of those.