Resolution presented to retired fire chief

Retired Mehlville Fire Protection Dis-trict Chief Clifford Zelch recently was presented a resolution by state Rep. Sue Schoemehl of Oakville outlining his distinguished career in the fire service.

The resolution was presented during a reception in Zelch’s honor that was attended by fellow firefighters, paramedics, family members and friends.

Zelch was one of two paid firefighters when the Mehlville Fire Protection Dis-trict was formed in 1954. He was appointed fire marshal in 1955 and named fire chief Jan. 1, 1956, remaining in that position for 27 years.

He retired on Oct. 31, 1985 after 31 years of service. He led the organization through transition from volunteer to career firefighters. Zelch oversaw the construction of seven engine houses during his tenure and the adoption of a Fire Preven-tion Bureau and Code.

He was instrumental in the creation of the South County Fire Alarm dispatch center, emergency medical service, a training division with an instructor and a vehicle maintenance program.

Zelch was past president of the Greater St. Louis County Fire Chiefs Association, the South County Fire Chiefs Association, a board member of the South County Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the International Association of Fire Chiefs, Missouri Mules, the National Fire Protec-tion Association, the Lions Club, the Op-timist Club, Scottish Rite and the Shriners.