Operation Red Nose is much more than a road safety campaign against impaired driving.
It is a way for volunteers to make new friends, gain volunteer hours and practical work experience.
As the service gears up for its 18th annual B.C. campaign, more volunteers are being sought before the Nov. 29 start.
“Last year, we had about 101 volunteers and I think I’ve got about 38 or 39 volunteers right now,” said Dena Sorley, Ridge Meadows Red Nose volunteer director.
“And every year, of course, our caller volumes increase and therefore we kind of need our volunteer base to increase and that’s not happening,” continued Sorley. Their goal this year is to recruit 125 volunteers.
Specifically, Sorley is in desperate need of road teams. Either designated drivers, navigators or driver escorts, the drivers who escort the volunteers to the clients and then follow them in their own vehicle.
Maple Ridge resident Brandon Collins volunteered for the first time last year as a call taker and dispatcher. He was 17-years-old and the youngest volunteer.
He used his experience at Operation Red Nose to get into the 911 dispatching program at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
He will be volunteering again this year. “It’s the same volunteers who tend to come back year after year because they enjoy it. It’s just knowing that you are doing a good thing for the community,” said Sorley.
On Saturday, outside the Great Canadian Superstore from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Operation Red Nose will have an information table set up in an effort to bring more awareness to the program.
They will have application forms for people fill out, volunteers to answer questions and Rudy will be there for photos.
Operation Red Nose is a national road safety campaign against impaired driving. Volunteers give impaired drivers a ride home from a night out in the drivers’ own vehicle by donation.
For information see www.rednose.bc.ca.