Few people live in Idyllwild who can say they were actually born in Idyllwild. Many live here but are born in nearby hospitals or birthing centers. However, Tammy Fogle was born in Idyllwild with the help of midwives.
“We moved around a lot,” Fogle explained. “I went to 15 schools before graduating from high school.”
Life progressed very quickly for Fogle. While most children are still at home going to school and being a kid at the age of 13, Fogle took a different path.
At the age of 13, Fogle moved out of her parents’ house and took a job at McDonald’s.
“I moved out at 13 and lived in a hotel right across the street from my school,” Fogle said. “I worked, went to school and was able to support myself. I chose to move out because I knew the kind of life I wanted and knew I could do it on my own. I’m proud I did it.”
Fogle’s mom became a nurse and worked at Loma Linda University Medical Center when she was a teenager, paving the way for Fogle’s entry into the nursing world.
“I didn’t want to be a nurse,” Fogle said. “I wanted to be a homicide detective, but since my mom was there, she invited me to come to the hospital.
Fogle managed to juggle going to nursing school at San Bernardino Adult School at Loma Linda University Medical Center while finishing up high school at Redlands High School. She also had a job at the same time.
“Loma Linda paid for my nursing schooling because I was working,” Fogle said. “I just had to pay for books and uniforms.
On June 21, 1990, Fogle graduated from nursing school as a licensed vocational nurse (LVN). On June 22, 1990, she graduated with her high school diploma from Redlands High School.
Fogle worked for Loma Linda off and on for 16 years. She’s worked in all different areas of nursing, but her favorite has always been pediatrics, specifically labor and delivery.
Not long out of high school, her brother introduced her to the U.S. Forest Service.
“My brother had been in the California Conservation Corps (CCC) and said he learned a lot of cool things, and if I wanted to do something different, to join,” she said. “They sent me up north to Hayfork between Redding and Eureka.”
While there, Fogle did everything from salmon restoration with the Department of Fish and Wildlife to emergency response after natural disasters, including battling wildfires.
While she was in the CCC she attended a 30-day fire academy through the U.S. Forest Service, eventually becoming the first CCC female captain.
“I was the first female captain the CCC ever had,” Fogle said. “I was also the only one in Hayfork that lived with 56 gang members for a while. I never had a bad crew. I still keep in contact with some of them.”
Fogle was the captain of fire crews from the U.S Forest Service and the department of corrections, leading them on the front lines of hundreds of wildfires. Many in the department of corrections also went to school to obtain their GED or college education. While they did that, Fogle took photography at the College of the Redwoods, a hobby she always wanted to learn.
When Fogle returned to Idyllwild, she started working for Idyllwild Fire and continued her nursing career at the Idyllwild Health Center, working there for 11 years.
She’s been very active in the community. Along with her work, she also volunteers as the activities chair for the Idyllwild Volunteer Fire Company, helping organize events all over town throughout the year.
Due to Fogle’s extensive nursing knowledge and training, she is a certified LVN II. The training opened the door to the opportunity to be a travel nurse.
Fogle now works for seven different travel nursing businesses, going to other states or anywhere in California when needed.
“I probably get 20-30 requests a week from all over the country,” Fogle said. “We are usually in hospitals or convalescent homes depending on the state.”
When traveling for work, Fogle is normally gone for three to four months. However, there are times it has stretched out to eight months or more.
When she is in Idyllwild, she works part-time for the Regenerative Medical Group and can be seen at Fern Creek Medical Center.
With no intention of stopping and still having the passion for being of service, Fogle said, “I’ve now been in nursing for 31 years and fire for 30 years.”
Outside of her many work travels, Fogle also loves traveling for fun. She’s been all over the world, vacationing and helping on mission trips.
“Every couple of years, I’ll plan a trip overseas,” she said. “I research and plan for two years before I go, and then visit multiple countries if I can. The history and cultures are amazing.”
While the travel bug was ingrained at such a young age, and adventure is always on the horizon, Fogle always enjoys coming home to the place it all began.
“I love our community,” Fogle confessed. “We’re a melting pot of all kinds of people, and that’s part of what makes Idyllwild so special. I’m blessed to live in our town of amazing people in the mountains and amazing forest.”