Operation Red Nose ready for the season

It’s all systems go as Operation Red Nose Prince George begins delivering safe rides home this weekend, the first of its 2018 campaign.

 

Friday night will feature 14 volunteer road teams of three and 18 teams on Saturday ready to take party-goers and their vehicles home between 9 p.m. – 3 a.m. Those who need a safe ride home can call 250-962-7433.

 

Operation Red Nose Prince George is celebrating its 21st year in the city. The designated driving service available during the holiday season relies on an army of volunteers to help keep Prince George roads safe.

 

“We’re as prepared as we can be and we’re really looking forward to finally getting out there and helping people who need it,” said Andrea Johnson, Operation Red Nose Prince George spokesperson. “Rudy, our mascot along with other Red Nose volunteers will also be making appearances at various pubs, restaurants and parties to remind people to call us if they need to.”

 

In comparison, in 2017, 16 teams provided 57 rides on the first night of service, while another 18 teams delivered 99 rides on the second night.

 

The free, seasonal service, organized by the Rotary Club of Prince George – Nechako, in partnership with the RCMP and ICBC, allows party-goers to not only get themselves home safely, but their vehicles too. The service is available on nine nights during the holiday season to those who do not feel fit to drive.

This year, Operation Red Nose will be in service Nov. 30, Dec. 1, Dec. 7 and 8, Dec. 14 and 15, 21, 22 and New Year’s Eve.

The safe ride home service is by donation. Donations that Operation Red Nose receives from clients stay in Prince George and goes directly to local youth and amateur sport organizations.

The call by organizers encouraging the public to volunteer has had a great response. So far 170 people have signed up. More are still needed to meet the demand for rides they expect during the holiday season, especially on New Year’s Eve.

Volunteers must be 19 years old and have a valid driver’s licence. They can be part of a road team of three or work behind the scenes answering phones at Operation Red Nose headquarters.

On average, about 15 road teams of three will be on call each night of service, working from 9 p.m. – 3 a.m.