Upper St. Clair Township

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Former Tri-Community South (TCS) EMS Director Nora Helfrich Passes Away

The Township of Upper. St. Clair is sad to learn of the passing of a true pioneer in EMS, former Tri-Community South EMS Director Nora Helfrich. It sends its deepest condolences to Nora's friends, family and loved ones. 

Nora retired from TCS in late 2021 after 42 years of service to TCS EMS and Upper St. Clair. She started as a volunteer, then became a part-time employee before moving to a full-time role. She was later promoted to a supervisor position and was eventually named the Director of TCS EMS in 2000. 

With a firm and steady hand, she guided TCS to some of its most prosperous years. While she held her staff to a high standard, she took an interest in every one of their lives and cherished the personal connections with her staff. Her accolades cannot be understated. 

 In 2005, Nora led TCS into a state-of-the-art station, replacing the cramped and dated stations TCS previously called home. In 2006, TCS became only the second EMS service in Pennsylvania to become CAAS certified, a designation they still hold today.  In 2007, TCS was named Ambulance Service of the Year by the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council. TCS was also home to one of the highest volume American Heart Association Community Training Center’s (CTC) in the country. 

Nora used the CTC as a tool to drive her passion for educating the public. Through partnerships with the Bethel Park, South Park and Upper St Clair school districts, students and educators were both trained in CPR. She hosted EMS students from Australia, South Korea, Norway, Qatar, Ireland, Germany, Canada, Nigeria, Argentina, China, Iceland and Finland. 

Throughout her career, she won numerous awards including EMS Champion from the Allegheny County EMS Council in 2009, Dr. George Moerkik Memorial Contribution to EMS in 2020, EMS Champion Allegheny County EMS Council again in 2023 and the Sugar and Mac Fine Memorial EMS Leadership Award from the Pennsylvania EMS Providers Foundation in September of 2023. 

Nora's influence can still be felt at TCS, in Upper St. Clair, in Allegheny County and the entire state. She has undoubtedly touched many lives in the community, and the Township of Upper St. Clair is forever grateful for her service. She will be greatly missed.