COTC EMT Basic Certificate Helped Kathleen Schlabach Get Closer to Her Dream Career


As a child, Kathleen (Katie) Schlabach watched the firefighter squads and trucks leaving the fire station across from their home with great interest.

Immediately after graduating from West Holmes High School in 2009 she joined that fire department. After receiving several certifications including her firefighter I, she realized that she could better serve her community and get one step closer to her dream career of being a flight medic by earning her Emergency Medical Technician Basic Certificate.

“I really enjoy helping others,” said Schlabach. “They’re at their worst and the comfort of having someone there to help really makes a difference.” 

The mother of three began Central Ohio Technical College’s (COTC) 15-week EMT Basic course in August 2020 just four months after the birth of her youngest child. Schlabach was able to take the course for free at the Coshocton campus thanks to a combination of a grant and scholarship. 

“We had a lot of fun in the course. The instructors made it enjoyable which really helped the material stick, and all of the students got along well,” she said. 

Schlabach also got a great deal of help from those in her fire and rescue department. Her EMS Chief Craig Proper, Assistant EMS Chief Clark Schwenke, EMS Captain and Assistant Fire Chief Jeff Wells and cadet Colton Schwenke helped her study and practice her skills. 

“I have become a greater asset to my community since obtaining my EMT certification. We did not have many EMTs in our department for our coverage area,” said Schlabach. She is currently an EMT-Basic at Richland Township Fire and EMS and a volunteer firefighter I. She is also a farmer at Big Little Farms, LLC.

Her next steps toward achieving her career goal of being a flight medic include enrollment in a paramedic program and obtainment of her firefighter II certification.

COTC is offering the Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Basic Certificate at the Coshocton campus again this fall. Classes start August 25 and will be held on Monday and Wednesday evenings from 5 to 9 p.m. with some Saturdays. 

The tuition for this certificate may be covered through Ohio’s short-term certificate grant, which provides up to $2,000 per student enrolled in a certificate program that leads to an industry-recognized credential for an in-demand job. This is a limited fund that will be awarded until funds are exhausted. To be considered, students must submit and satisfy the requirements on the Short-term Certificate Grant Application.

After completion of this course, students take the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians exam for certification as an EMT. First on the scene in an emergency, EMTs administer first-aid treatment, sometimes providing life-saving care, to people who have suffered an illness or injury outside of a hospital setting. 

Interested persons must attend an information session to learn more. The final information session will be delivered remotely in an online video conference on:

• Friday, August 6 at 2 p.m.

Register and learn more at, or schedule an appointment with an admissions representative at 740.366.9222 or

To apply, complete the free COTC admission application at You must obtain a background check and submit results to COTC prior to the first day of class. Background checks are available for purchase by prospective students at COTC’s Department of Public Safety on the Newark campus or at the Coshocton County Sheriff’s Office (by appointment).

COTC is a fully accredited, public college dedicated to providing high-quality, accessible programs of technical education in response to current and emerging employment needs. COTC has four campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala.