Ever since Scott Farrell worked as a teenage lifeguard and saw an ambulance drive by, he knew he wanted to be a paramedic.
“I thought it was pretty cool and was something I’d like to do.”
Farrell was among the 1,500 would-be Algonquin students to attend the open house on March 19.
Anna Kalil, the organizer, and a veteran of such events, was pleased with the turnout.
“I think it’s one of the best Saturdays we’ve ever had,” Kalil said.
Hosting the open house during the March break allowed visitors from all over the country to make the trip.
“We had people from B.C., P.E.I., and Nova Scotia,” Kalil said.
“From all around Ontario and Quebec.”
Kalil explained how the current generation of students differ from when she was getting out of high school.
“We know that a lot of people apply to different colleges. They like to shop around,” Kalil said.
“It’s the biggest investment in your future you’re going to make”
Farrell, like many students, is weighing out his options.
He is considering Algonquin or Cornwall’s St. Lawrence College to further his career as a paramedic.
Choosing Algonquin allows him to stay at home and keep working with MedVent, a co-ed vocational program that provides youth with experience in the emergency services industry. But Farrell has also heard St. Lawrence College’s program is more hands on.
“I’ve heard that St. Lawrence has a bit of a better program. Just a bit more time to practice,” Farrell said.
“For this kind of job, practice is important.”
Farrell had the opportunity to not only speak with paramedic students but was taken on a guided tour of one their classrooms by two first-year students. This provided him with the chance to see where he might be studying and the tools he’d be working with. This seemed to leave a good impression on him.
“I think they’re pretty good,” Farrell said.
“They were nice and willing to show me around and convince me to come to this school for next year.”