Operation Red Nose gets some strange calls

 

I was only volunteering one night last weekend with Operation Red Nose.

I came down with a bad bout of the flu Wednesday evening and was laid up most of Thursday, so I called and asked if I was absolutely needed Friday. If not, I said, I would prefer to stay home and get some rest.

I was told to stay home, and by Saturday, I was feeling a lot better, so I went in for a full shift.

One thing I noticed as I was supervising the phone crew was that some people still don’t seem to know the reasons why we won’t give them a ride.

The first one, which crops up a couple of times every night it seems, is that we get you and your car home. The key words there: “and your car.” You need to have a vehicle to use Operation Red Nose; we are not a cab service.

One we also get at least once a night it seems is that the car has to have B.C. licence plates. We don’t need to know the number, we just need to know it has valid B.C. plates. ICBC is one of the major sponsors, and they cover our drivers whatever vehicle they’re in, as long as it is insured in B.C.

The question of having B.C. plates cropped up a couple of times on Saturday. It’s the first question our phone volunteers ask: “Do you have a vehicle with you with B.C. plates?” In a couple of cases, the answer was yes. In one case, when the team got there, they found the vehicle had Alberta plates. Sorry, no ride.

In the other case, the vehicle had B.C. plates, but the volunteer couldn’t find the street she given as the pickup location anywhere in Prince George. She did a Google search, and then asked the caller what city they were in.

“Kelowna.”

A little out of our coverage area, but not the worst one we had on Saturday.

Early in the evening, one of the volunteers asked the first question about B.C. plates, and was greeted with surprise, as to why they needed B.C. plates when they were calling from . . . New Brunswick.

Nobody at Red Nose that night could figure out how someone in New Brunswick got the number for the Prince George service, but they did. Our volunteer did a quick search, and was able to give the caller the number they actually needed to call.

Just a reminder, Operation Red Nose is not running this weekend, to give the volunteers a chance to spend the Christmas weekend with friends and family. It will be back up again on Dec. 29, 30 and 31.