Upper St. Clair Township

recreation-icon Recreation Book Icon Library calendar-icon Calendar

Tri-Community South EMS Director Retires After More Than 40 Years

After more than 40 years with Tri-Community South (TCS) EMS, Director Nora Helfich has retired.

“It's been almost 42 years. It’s time to let someone else take the lead,” Nora said. 

“She absolutely deserves it (retirement), but I’m sad to see her go,” said Tim Hall, who worked with Nora for 20 years. 

“She was always there. She was there for us on our weddings. She would be there for us for the birth of our children. She had a picture of all our kids on her wall. Now she has some grandkids up there too,” said Alan Jackson, who worked with Nora for 18 years.

"She’s passionate about what she does and cares about the employees,” said Larry Pantuso, who has worked and known Nora for about 33 years. “She came up through the ranks and has endured many changes.”

During her time working for TCS EMS, Nora held every position. She served as a volunteer, a part-time employee, a full-time employee, a supervisor and a Supervisor of Support Services. In October 2000, Nora was named director.

“She took us from a little metal shack to a multi-million dollar building and she didn’t take any money from the municipalities,” said Will Thomas, who has worked with Nora for 15 years.

In April 2006, Tri-Community South became the first EMS system in Allegheny County, second in Pennsylvania and 100th in North America to be granted accreditation by the Commission on the Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS). This accreditation was renewed in 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018 and most recently in 2021.

In August 2007, Tri-Community South was named Ambulance Service of the Year by the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council (PEHSC). Just about one year later Nora
received an award from the Emergency Medical Service Institute at its annual dinner on November 14, 2008, recognizing her outstanding contributions to EMS in southwestern

Right before Nora retired, the Pennsylvania Emergency Health Services Council presented Nora with the 2021 Dr. George Moerkirk Memorial Contribution to EMS Award