Operation Red Nose is doing its final run of the season this New Year’s Eve. But locals will only be able to get home using this service if they need pickup from Chilliwack.
Operation Red Nose is an annual volunteer-run program, in place in Chilliwack since 2004. It pairs sober drivers with intoxicated individuals, bringing them and their cars safely home. The Kiwanis Club of Sardis took over the program in 2012 from Chilliwack Restorative Justice.
Kiwanis Club president Dennis Sherwin explains they can give people a ride to Agassiz or Harrison from Chilliwack. However, if an intoxicated person needs a ride home within this community, they will have to find another way.
“What we had to do is cut back our service slightly because we didn’t get the number of volunteers we were hoping for,” explains Sherwin.
It might not be full-service here, but Operation Red Nose has been used by locals this season to get home. Sherwin says he will have full statistics at the end of this year’s operation but knows he personally has driven several individuals to Agassiz and Harrison Hot Springs throughout the eight nights of operation.
This year, Operation Red Nose in Chilliwack has around 100 volunteers, operating nine to 10 teams each designated night of the program. The logistics are complicated, with three-person teams sent out from headquarters in Chilliwack to a person’s location who has called. Then one person drives the “chase” vehicle while the other two drive with the intoxicated individual in that person’s own car back to his or her home. Then the three volunteers climb back in the chase car and head back out for another call.
The service has such high demand, there can be upwards of an hour wait, according to the Chilliwack Operation Red Nose Facebook page. Nine nights were scheduled for pickup this year, between 9 p.m. and 3 a.m.
While the service is free, donations for the Kiwanis Club of Sardis are gladly accepted. To call for pickup from Chilliwack on December 31, phone 604-393-3000, between 9 pm and 3 a.m.