COTC Faculty Member Uses Unusual Background in Teaching

NEWARK, Ohio, Oct. 25, 2018 – Craig Ramsey, or Ramsay as he prefers to acknowledge his dual citizenship as Canadian-American, can be found teaching in the classrooms at Central Ohio Technical College's (COTC) Newark and Knox campuses and in both communities. He spreads his expertise in the emergency medical services (EMS)/healthcare field far and wide to people of all ages through his work as an adjunct faculty member at COTC, as an instructor for COTC's College Aspire summer workshop program for area youth and as the coordinator/instructor of COTC's American Heart Association Basic Life Support (CPR) training center.

Image"To me, rewards here come on several levels. There's nothing like the excitement and fun challenges coming from the students who participate in College Aspire each year. I also love seeing those lightbulb moments when students connect lecture content with the hands-on lab work," Ramsay said. 

Oddly, he did not set out to be someone working in the EMS field or to be a teacher. He originally planned a career in radio and print journalism. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Communications and an Honors Bachelor of Arts in English Literature from Ohio University. He also did master's work at Edinburgh Theological College (Coates Hall) in Edinburgh, Scotland. He holds EMS certifications in Canada and Ohio. Ramsay can even call himself a COTC alumnus because he completed his advanced emergency medical technician (EMT) coursework at the college.

"I use my communications background and time in the field to liven up classwork and keep things interesting," he said. "I don't just teach what to do. I teach why the body is reacting the way it is because knowing both is going to ensure that treatment is successful."

While in Scotland, Ramsay spent a number of years with the United Kingdom Coast Guard and Lifeboat Service conducting air and sea rescues. He just recently retired from his career as a paramedic supervisor. Ramsay has been teaching at COTC since 2004, mostly in the EMS technology program. He has served as a CPR trainer, both at and outside COTC for 20 years, certifying an estimated 7,000 people during that time.

"There's nothing more satisfying than knowing a patient has been able to walk out of the hospital in part because of actions I performed. I would not trade all my time in the field working with injured and ill patients for anything," Ramsay said.

He tells his students that an EMS/healthcare career is an extremely rewarding choice despite stress. He lets them know that it is not going to be like anything else they could do. Ramsay uses anecdotes from his time in the field to demonstrate scenarios to students as they practice techniques like inserting an IV or reading a heart monitor.

"COTC is a great teaching opportunity. Not only are the facilities, faculty and administration top notch, in my opinion, but also the student body is a good mix of traditional and nontraditional students who are here because they want an education," Ramsay said.

COTC offers EMT and Paramedic certificates that prepare students for national certification by the National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians. With additional general education classes, one can earn an associate degree for a professional career in EMS with the ability for promotion and advancement. Currently, certified paramedics may apply for college credit that covers up to 63 percent of an associate degree. The paramedic program is accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Education Programs and the State Department of Public Safety.

COTC is currently enrolling certified EMTs in the EMS associate degree program for the spring semester at both the Knox and Pataskala campuses. This is a year-long program running from January to December 2019. Evening and unit day scheduling is available. Visit or contact Mindy Roggow at or 740.755.7090 for more information.

College Aspire is a free hands-on, engaging summer workshop in technology-based programs. Open to youth ages 10-18 and taught by college faculty on a college campus, College Aspire demonstrates to both students and their families that college is accessible in their community and possible regardless of their circumstances. College Aspire will be held again June 10 – 15, 2019. More information will be released about it early in 2019.

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 is the only technical college in Ohio operating four full-service campus locations: Newark, Coshocton, Knox and Pataskala. 

Caption: Ramsay working with College Aspire participants to demonstrate the EMS skills they learned.