USC Board Honors Retired EMS Director
Mrs. Helfrich started her career with TCS in April 1980 and rose through the rankings, becoming director in October 2000.
"I knew early on she was determined to make TCS one of the best in the country, and she did," said Commissioner Ronald J. Pardini, former Upper St. Clair police chief.
Mrs. Helfrich, along with her team, undertook the challenge of accreditation by the Commission of the Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) in April 2006, becoming the first EMS system in Allegheny County and second in Pennsylvania to achieve the accreditation. This was renewed in 2009, 2012, 2015, 2018 and most recently in 2021. During her tenure, TCS also received the Achieving Excellence in Defibrillation Award and Ambulance Service of the Year.
Personally, Mrs. Helfrich achieved the 2021 Dr. George Moerkirk Memorial Contribution to EMS Award recognizing her efforts in clinical advancement and professional development.
Along with Mrs. Helfrich's passion for EMS care, she also focused on education and training. She trained students across the region, United States, Australia, South Korea, Norway, Qatar, Ireland, Germany, Canada, Nigeria, Argentina, China, Iceland, and Finland.
Mrs. Helfrich was instrumental in the creation of the TCS headquarters on Progress Boulevard in Bethel Park. The project completed ahead of schedule and under budget in September 2005.
Representative Natalie Mihalek also honored Mrs. Helfrich on Monday night, presenting her with a Certificate of Achievement. Rep. Mihalek said she grew up with a younger brother who was ill and required EMS service.
"You are a difference maker," she said. "We thank you for your 42 years of service."