"They are my angels": Woman's overdose leads to new life thanks to fire chief's family
CHEVIOT, Ohio (WKRC) - Cheviot's fire chief says he was numb to the addicts he revived. There just had been too many.
But the chief changed the way he thinks about them because of a woman he saved. She changed his life.
Riding in the Harvest Home Parade with Cheviot Firefigthers was then 21-year-old Courtney Schnabel, who is now part of the firefighter family.
Courtney met them in the summer of 2016. She had overdosed and “friends” had dumped her outside the firehouse.
It was the fourth time she was Narcan’d. When she was revived, she saw one face, the face of Cheviot Fire Chief Robert Klein.
Months later, he was in the restaurant where Courtney worked. She thanked him for saving her life.
She had a very different face than the one he remembered on the day he saw her after she was revived.
For Courtney, it was the day she decided to get help for her heroin addiction.
“I wouldn't be here if it wasn't for them,” said Courtney Schnabel.
Courtney was sort of adopted by the fire house and the Klein family.
“We take her in our lives as a blessing. She goes to church and is part of our family,” said Cheviot Fire Chief Robert Klein.
“I will do for her what I will do for my own children,” said Theresa Klein.
That family boost helped Courtney recently get her GED.
“They had my back through all of it, studying, preparing for tests, the whole time they were cheering me on and telling me I could do it,” said Courtney.
Chief Klein said when he saw Courtney walk with her diploma, he felt the same pride he felt when his own children graduated.
In Courtney's future? A scholarship to work in a hospital as a health advocate.
"I'm excited! It’s a 12-week health advocate future and they picked me out of fifty students,” said Courtney.
Courtney and the Kleins believe they were meant to connect.
"They are my angels,” said Courtney.
What's next for Courtney? Another boost from the Kleins as they help her get her driver's license.
And something else! She will be riding on a firetruck in this year's Harvest Home Parade.