Rich Kelley death, Chief of EMS & Undine fire company, Bellefonte passed away after a medical event

Rich Kelley has died. (Source: Facebook)
Rich Kelley has died. (Source: Facebook)


In a solemn moment for the emergency services community of Central Pennsylvania, Rich Kelley, the Chief of EMS for Mount Nittany Health, the Assistant Fire Chief of the Undine Fire Company of Bellefonte, and a dedicated member of the Howard Fire Company, has passed away.

His departure leaves a profound void in the hearts of those who knew him and the organizations he served with unwavering commitment and passion.

Rich Kelley passed away

Centre County 9-1-1 has shared the devastating news that Rich Kelley, a cornerstone of the emergency services community, has passed away.

Rich Kelley’s impact extended far beyond the confines of his official duties. He was a friend, a mentor, and a source of strength for all who had the privilege of crossing paths with him. His genuine kindness, unwavering dedication, and selfless service touched the lives of countless individuals throughout Centre County and beyond.

Who was Rich Kelley?

Rich Kelley, a stalwart presence in Centre County’s emergency service organizations, embodied the essence of dedication, leadership, and unwavering commitment. Serving concurrently as the Chief of EMS for Mount Nittany Health, Assistant Fire Chief of the Undine Fire Company of Bellefonte, and a valued member of the Howard Fire Company, Rich’s multifaceted contributions were instrumental in shaping the emergency medical landscape in the region.

A Lifelong Journey of Leadership in Emergency Services

Rich’s journey in EMS began as a volunteer at Logan Fire Co Ambulance, predating the establishment of Bellefonte EMS, where he later became their first ‘career’ Operations Director in 1994.

His illustrious career extended beyond the local scope, encompassing roles as a flight medic with STAT & Hershey and a Deputy Director at Centre LifeLink in State College before dedicating almost two decades to Mount Nittany Medical Center.

In Centre County’s emergency response community, Rich was a dynamic force, actively engaging with various organizations to enhance emergency medical services. His involvement with Seven Mountains as a delegate, board member, and committee participant showcased his commitment to shaping the future of emergency care.

Rich’s leadership extended beyond EMS, as he also served as the Centre County Coroner, played a crucial role in the SouthCentral Mountains Task Force, and contributed to the Keystone Health Care Coalition. Suggest a simple title.

A Friend, Mentor, and Pillar of Unity in Emergency Services

Rich’s influence reached far beyond administrative roles; he was a mentor, an advocate, and an active EMS instructor, generously sharing his knowledge and experience. His positive attitude, evident in every interaction, earned him a reputation as everyone’s friend.

Rich’s dedication to fostering camaraderie extended to his role as an officer of the Centre County Ambulance Association, where he played a pivotal role in nurturing a sense of community among emergency responders. Within Centre County’s 9-1-1 training program, Rich was an indispensable asset.

His commitment to education and mentorship was exemplified through his willingness to provide facility tours of the Emergency Department at Mount Nittany for new hires, offering invaluable insights into their role as paramedics and fostering a deeper understanding of the emergency medical landscape.

Rich Kelley Cause of Death

Paramedic Rich Kelley, an esteemed figure in the emergency medical community, passed away tragically last evening, February 8, 2024, following a sudden and unexpected medical emergency. His untimely departure has sent shockwaves through the emergency services community, leaving a profound sense of loss and disbelief in its wake.

His passing leaves a void that cannot be filled—a void felt not only by those who had the privilege of working alongside him but also by the countless lives he touched throughout his career. Rich’s legacy as a paramedic extends far beyond the confines of his professional duties; he was a friend, a mentor, and a beacon of light in the darkest of times.

As news of Rich Kelley’s passing reverberates throughout the emergency medical community, expressions of grief and tributes pour in from colleagues, friends, and those whose lives he touched. His impact on the lives of others will be remembered and cherished for years to come, a testament to the profound influence he had on the community he served.


Jj Magyar wrote: “Sad to learn of the passing of this great man. Rich Kelley is a great EMS leader having been the lead at Mount Nittany Medical Center and instructor. He recently taught an EMR class. He was also a dedicated fire service leader serving as a Chief Officer at Undine and member at Howard. He will leave a gap hard to fill and a legacy making his family and colleagues proud. He will certainly be remembered for his kindness and compassion for others. Prayers for his family and all who mourn this hard loss. He will be missed.”

Tor Michaels-Show wrote: “Rich Kelley, a devoted public servant and friend to many, has sadly passed away. Please keep his loved ones and the First Responder family in your thoughts and prayers.”

Daniel Forster wrote: “Tonight comes a little darker, a little quieter and a little lonelier than usual but the memories, the stories, and most of all the legacy that he leaves behind brings a comforting and warming light to our hearts. For all that’s he’s done for the community and for EMS, we are forever grateful. RIP Rich Kelley.”

As we mourn the loss of Rich Kelley, let us reflect on the indelible mark he left on Centre County’s emergency services. His legacy is not only etched in the organizations he served but also in the countless lives he touched through his kindness, dedication, and enduring commitment to the well-being of others.

Rich’s impact will resonate through the generations of emergency responders he inspired, and his memory will forever be cherished in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing him.


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