Upper St. Clair Township

recreation-icon Recreation Book Icon Library calendar-icon Calendar

Tri-Community South EMS Director Wins Award

The Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council (PEHSC) presented Tri-Community South EMS Director Nora Helfrich, RN, EMT-P, with the 2021 Dr. George Moerkirk Memorial Contribution to EMS Award. 

"Her nomination spoke volumes," said Duane Spencer as he honored Nora on Monday. "To say Nora is an EMS trailblazer is an understatement.

"Nora is a leader for women in EMS. She was one of the first women in Pennsylvania to become an EMS director. She set an example for so many others ... and she never lost sight of the goal to improve life for others."

"This year no one is more deserving of this award than you," said Dylan Ferguson, director of the Bureau of Emergency Medical Services with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, to Nora. "You always kept the focus on serving members of our community."

"You can't do this without the staff. I accept this on behalf of all of you," Nora told the crowd at the Tri-Community South EMS headquarters. 

Each year the PEHSC, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Department of Health, Bureau of Emergency Medical Services, recognizes individuals, groups and organizations who comprise the commonwealth's emergency medical services system for their commitment and dedication to delivering high quality prehospital medical care. The Dr. George Moerkirk Memorial Contribution to EMS Award is in memory of George E. Moerkirk, M.D., past president of PEHSC. Dr. Moerkirk was instrumental in the development and growth of Pennsylvania's EMS system. He provided EMS education to EMTs and paramedics and was actively involved in clinical care as a medical command physician and facility director. Dr. Moerkirk was known throughout Pennsylvania as the "father of EMS." The award honors an individual who provides a significant contribution to the Pennsylvania's EMS system.

Nora joined Tri-Community South EMS in 1980 and became the director in 2000.  After a nearly 42-year impressive EMS career, Nora plans to retire at the end of this month, October 2021. 

The virtual presentation of all the 2021 Pennsylvania Statewide EMS Awards will take place at 19:00 hours on Tuesday, Oct. 26 on @PAEHSCouncil Facebook Live. 

This article was originally published on Oct. 18, 2021.

Nora Helfrich presented with the Dr. Moerkirk Memorial Contribution to EMS Award