Riding along with Operation Red Nose in Kamloops

By Adam Donnelly
December 11, 2017 - 5:11pm Updated: December 11, 2017 - 6:28pm

KAMLOOPS — With all the Christmas parties and holiday celebrations going on at this time of year, it’s important to consider just how you’re going to get home after having a beverage or two. While taxis and transit are options, for over two decades Operation Red Nose has been delivering holiday revellers home safely, and in their own vehicles. CFJC Today went out with Operation Red Nose on Saturday night to see how busy the designated driving service gets at this time of year.

It all starts with a call. And once those calls start coming in, they come in fast.

“[The night] starts off quite slow for us, but as soon as the teams come in at 10:00 pm, things are full force,” Coordinator Katie Klassen explains.

Klassen first helps orient the new volunteers, many of whom seem eager to get out on the road.

“It’s just a good cause, especially with holiday parties and study like that, it kind of deters people from drinking and driving,” one volunteer says.

“Kamloops, it’s a city, but it’s not that big of a city,” another volunteer says. “[Volunteering] is what you have to do to keep a community strong.”

From there, those drivers get their first assignments and head out to pick up their first rides of the night. With the number of holiday celebrations taking place throughout the city, Klassen says those extra drivers are a welcome addition to the roadways throughout the city, and the numbers bear that fact out. Last weekend the service answered over 250 calls during three night of work.

“Cab companies, other designated driving services are just overloaded with all the people out celebrating,” Klassen says. “We’re just that other option for a ride home. And out volunteers do a great job of entertaining people, so people really love the service.”

So if you’re out celebrating over the next few weeks, keep Operation Red Nose in mind to get you home safely, because all it takes is a call.

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