Op­er­a­tion Red Nose kick­ing off tonight

The Prince George Citizen - - Front Page - Ci­ti­zen staff

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

Tonight 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. and 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 Op­er­a­tion Red Nose Prince Ge­orge spokesper­son An­drea John­son.

“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 par­ty­go­ers 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.

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.

— An­drea John­son

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

The safe ride home ser­vice is by do­na­tion. Pro­ceeds go 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 li­cense. 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.

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