Ed Momorella, Abington Township’s Emergency Management Administrator, died Tuesday morning at Abington Memorial Hospital following a heart attack.
Abington Township Assistant Manager Matt Lahaza said Momorella worked for the township for about 12 years; he called Momorella an expert in all areas of emergency management.
“It’s unbelievable,” Lahaza said. "I just helped him with his website. This is a difficult pill to swallow.”
Abington Fire Marshal Ken Clark called yesterday, “A sad day for Abington."
“He was a great guy and a tremendous asset not only to the employees of the township, but he was an asset to every resident in Abington whether they knew it or not.”
According to Clark, Momorella was in the process of working on plans for the next Emergency Disaster Incident Training Symposium (EDITS), a bi-annual regional training conference for Eastern Montgomery County emergency managers. Momorella was also a founding member and “informal chairman” of the Eastern Montgomery County Emergency Management Group.
Yesterday, the emema.org website had posted:
“It is with great sadness that the Eastern Montgomery County Emergency Management Group announces the unexpected passing of founding member and informal chairman Ed Momorella. Ed passed away this morning, April 3, 2012 while working on plans for the next EDITS conference. Ed's work with Upper Moreland, Abington Township, Southeastern Task Force, and the US Government set the standard for excellence. Ed has been a leadership influence in the fire and emergency services for many years and leaves a legacy of a community, county and region much safer for his efforts. He will be greatly missed as a professional and as a friend. Funeral details will be posted as they are finalized. We ask that you remember his family in your thoughts and prayers.”
Clark also said that Momorella was the past assistant fire marshal of Upper Moreland Township; according to Momorella’s LinkedIn profile, he was also the past Regional Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and a LaSalle University graduate, Class of 1966.
Lahaza said that Momorella’s wife was also an Abington employee, having recently retired from working in the police department. She retired about a year ago.
About six months ago, Lahaza said that Momorella was contemplating his own retirement — which would mean spending more time with his wife. And during that time, he took a trip — one of many trips across the country.
“He had been in all 50 states except for Oregon,” Lahaza said. “But [six months ago] he went through Oregon on a trip to Alaska. That was his thing — a little hobby of his. He had a softer side.”
Momorella was also known for working in the "basement" of the Abington Township building; and had a collection of items from the former Willow Grove Park site on display at the Upper Moreland Library.