Algonquin-Lake in the Hills firefighter, paramedic who died remembered as 'Wonder Woman,' mentor
Local first responders are remembering Tammie Pullin, an Algonquin-Lake in the Hills firefighter and paramedic as a mentor, sister and "Wonder Woman," after she died Wednesday following a battle with several medical issues.
Pullin, who started her career with the fire district in 2006, was born and raised in the community until "recent health challenges took her away from the job she loved," Algonquin-Lake in the Hills Firefighters Local 3985 said on Facebook Wednesday night.
"Tammie courageously faced and beat cancer several years ago only to be faced with even more health challenges recently related to her previous cancer battle," the post said. "She fought to the very end and has been an inspiration to all who have been by her side throughout this journey."
This year, to help her through these challenges, proceeds from Local 3985's annual golf outing went, in part, to Pullin and her family. The event's website said Pullin's love of service for her community made her continue working, even while going through chemotherapy and the beginning symptoms of an autoimmune disease.
In a Facebook post, the Lake in the Hills Police Department sent its condolences, saying that Pullin "is a hero among heroes and will be greatly missed."
"Tammie will always be remembered," the Algonquin Police Department said in its own post. "It was an honor for all of us to work alongside her. She was an inspiration and had unbelievable strength with all she faced. She has earned her nickname of #WonderWoman!"
Before she became a firefighter, Pullin was an accomplished athlete, making it into Jacobs High School's Athletic Hall of Fame. As a senior, she was named the high school's female athlete of the year, after participating in basketball, soccer, golf, and track and field, according to her Hall of Fame biography.
After high school, she would continue being a part of the Jacobs community as a Special Olympics basketball coach. Pullin's team took second in the state competition in 2017.
Although she was serious about her work and a master at her job, Knebl said, she was hilarious and often tried to make people laugh.
"She always brought a smile to everybody's face," Knebl said. "(She could) make a bad situation good. ... People just loved being by her."
Pullin's nickname to her co-workers was "Wonder Woman," a testament to everything she went through with her health. Even while going through numerous treatments and surgeries, she would stop in to the station to visit with a smile on her face and positive outlook, Knebl said.
"Battle after battle, she just made it through," Knebl said. "She's battled so much in the last few years, more than more than I even know."