The Desert IndependentTM

Serving Blythe and the Desert Regions of the Southwest Since 2001


Richard Selph, New CERT Commander

Frank Kelly Retiring to Arizona

By Robert JENSEN
The Desert Independent

April 22, 2012

BLYTHE, Calif – At the Command Staff meeting held at Steaks and Cakes last Saturday, a unanimous decision was made to nominate Richard “Deno” Selph as the new Incident Commander for the local Community Emergency Response Team. This position as well as that of Public Information Officer held by Anita Kelly was made vacant due to health concerns regarding Mr. Kelly and their decision to move to healthier climes in Peoria, Arizona.

Frank Kelly was the founder of the CERT program here in Blythe, signing up the first class of 15 volunteers back in 2006 and bringing it from nothing. He took raw recruits to the now trained 60-plus professionals that can be called upon for any emergency. They have handled and can handle disasters, traffic or crowd control.

He and his wife, Anita, have written numerous grants bringing the organization training equipment, trailers, radios, clothing and other items that have made the Palo Verde CERT a well equipped recognizable force. Frank was made Citizen of the Year by the Chamber of Commerce in 2008 for his efforts in getting this organization off the ground and viable. The College endowed CERT two rooms at the old Spring Street Campus for meeting and training sites due to his efforts as well.

His successor has some big shoes to fill but his qualifications show him to be a worthy replacement. Richard is 38 years old with two children by his “significant other” – Yuri Saldana – Ryan Selph, age 3 and Savanna Selph, age 12. He has been a citizen of Blythe for 35 years and has the nickname “Deno” as he has the same first name as his father. In order to differentiate between father and son on the telephone, Richard became known as “Deno” after his middle name of Dean to his friends and family.

Mr. Selph has had over 8 years of experience as a volunteer firefighter with Riverside County Fire Station 43. He has taken courses in Confined Space Training, Urban Search and Rescue, Low Angle and High Angle Rescue, Swift-water Rescue and has been a volunteer squad leader/engineer.

He has been employed by Blythe Ambulance Service from 1996-2007 as an EMT/Paramedic. He has also been a Field Training Officer/Supervisor, instructor for CPR and ACLS (Advanced Cardiac Life Support), and PEPP (Pediatric Education for Pre-hospital Professionals).

From 2001-2004 he also served as a Flight Paramedic with Aero-medivac Fixed Wing and Rotor Service.

John Bryant will be stepping in to fill the position of Public Information Officer being vacated by Anita Kelly.

The Kelly’s have been a couple that has given much to the people of Blythe. Either through their involvement with Zion Lutheran Church, the CIF Board, PV Community College, CERT, Ehrenberg Fire Department and other activities, they have contributed much to the well-being of the people the Palo Verde Valley and will be missed.

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