An army of red-vested volunteers are ready to help keep Prince George safe during the 2017 holiday season, offering safe rides home to party-goers beginning this weekend, Friday and Saturday, Dec. 1 and 2.
“We’ll have about 14 Operation Red Nose volunteer road teams of three available on Friday night and another 16 teams Saturday night who will be on call ready to drive anyone home who does not feel fit to drive,” said Andrea Johnson, Operation Red Nose spokesperson. “Clients can call us at 250-962-RIDE (7433) between 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. this weekend as well as Dec. 8 and 9, Dec. 15 and 16, Dec. 29, 30 and New Year’s Eve. They must have a vehicle with valid B.C. license plates.”
Entering its 20th season, Operation Red Nose is 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.
On average, about 15 volunteer road teams of three will be on call each night. Various non-profit and youth and sport organizations are volunteering for Operation Red Nose, including the Prince George Pathfinders, AiMHi – Prince George Association for Community Living, Canadian Ski Patrol, Prince George Judo Club, and P.A.R.T.Y (Preventing Alcohol Risk-Related Trauma in Youth Program).
There is still time to sign up for Operation Red Nose this year.
“Right now we have 237 volunteers which is great, but we’d love to have several more especially for New Year’s Eve,” said Johnson.
Volunteers must be 19 years old and have a valid driver’s license. They can be part of a road team of three or work behind the scenes answering phones at Operation Red Nose headquarters.
Applications, which include a Criminal Record Check form, are now available online at www.ornpg.ca. Volunteers can simply fill it out, print it out and take it, along with their driver’s license, to the RCMP’s main detachment on Victoria Street.
In 2016, 872 safe rides home over 10 nights were delivered in Prince George.
In 2015, 1,059 safe rides home in nine nights were delivered which ranked Prince George second overall out of 13 communities in B.C.