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Get home safely this holiday season with Operation Red Nose Quinte

By LaShaina Blair-White  [1]

BELLEVILLE – Operation Red Nose [2] is in full swing this holiday season to ensure everyone gets home safely.

The drive-program is for those who do not feel fit to drive because they are intoxicated, sleepy or on medication. You can call the service more than once during the course of an evening, either to get from one location to another or simply to get home safely.

Rick Watt, chair of Operation Red Nose Quinte, said that when a call comes in, the volunteer workers “go in teams of three: an escort driver, a volunteer driver and a navigator. The escort driver drops the volunteer driver and the navigator to where the client is. The volunteer driver then goes into the client’s car along with the navigator and the client. The escort driver drives behind the volunteer driver to the client’s destination.”

“We know where most of the stuff goes on. If an event is going on in Trenton, I will send 10 teams at the end of the event and let 10 stay in Belleville,” Watt said.

Operation Red Nose receives about over 100 calls per night. It is open from Thursday to Sunday.

Watt predicted that on the next two Saturdays before Christmas, Dec. 13 and Dec. 20, Operation Red Nose will receive about 200 calls a night, and that on New Year’s about 250 calls.

“I think this program saves lives,” Watt told QNetNews. “I enjoy doing it; I get to know a lot of people. It has gotten to the point where I recognize their voice” when they call.

The service is free of charge, but donations are accepted.