Lynn Brooks stands in front of Operation Red Nose’s headquarters. Brooks is a long-time volunteer with the operation

Lynn Brooks stands in front of Operation Red Nose’s headquarters. Brooks is a long-time volunteer with the operation

Driving service seeks volunteers

NANAIMO – Operation Red Nose kicks off 20 years in Nanaimo on Friday (Nov. 13).

It was 2007 and Lynn Brooks had just moved to Nanaimo when she began looking for ways to familiarize herself with the city.

Having relocated from Quesnel, Brooks had previously volunteered with a program called Highway Rescue, where she saw the ugly side of drunk driving.

It wasn’t long into her search that Brooks saw an advertisement for Operation Red Nose, a volunteer-based service that provides a safe and free alternative way home for those who have been drinking during the holiday season.

“When I saw this organization that I had never heard of, I was so excited because I can actually prevent that (drinking and driving) from happening,” she said.

So Brooks enthusiastically signed up as a volunteer.

Operation Red Nose has been operating for 20 years and is available to anyone regardless of age. The service allows people and their vehicles to get home safely free of charge. Last year, Operation Red Nose drove roughly 11,000 kilometres over 421 trips, taking an estimated 1,200 people.

“If a teen were at a party or something like that and they felt that they couldn’t get home safely, they could give Operation Red Nose a call if they didn’t have a number or money for a cab. We don’t want teenagers drinking and driving either. The service is open to anybody who feels that they are not able to drive safely,” said Ursula Weiss, coordinator for Operation Red Nose.

On Friday (Nov. 13) Operation Red Nose will officially kick off the 2015-16 holiday season at Nanaimo North Town Centre beginning at noon.

Weiss said her group is looking for volunteer drivers, navigators, escort drivers and dispatchers. Volunteers of all ages are welcome, however younger volunteers are in demand.

For Brooks, it’s the damage caused by impaired driving along with the service to the community that keeps her coming back to Operation Red Nose year after year.

“The most important thing is knowing that I am helping drunk people get off the road and getting them home safely,” Brooks said.

The service will be available the last weekend of November as well as the first three weekends in December and on New Year’s Eve.

Just Posted

Nanaimo rapper Sirreal plays the Port Theatre on June 25. (Photo courtesy Alanna Morton)
Nanaimo rapper Sirreal and friends play the Port Theatre

Live-streamed concert the second in venue’s Discovery Series highlighting local artists

Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above seasonal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Environment Canada has issued a special weather statement, stating that Nanaimo will see temperatures between five-10 degrees above normal the next two days. (News Bulletin file)
Heat wave will see Nanaimo temperatures rise 5-10 degrees above normal

Sun with highs of 28 C forecast by Environment Canada for Harbour City on Sunday and Monday

According to a staff report, Regional District of Nanaimo has seen some $13.6 million in grant applications approved between Jan. 1 and May 15. (News Bulletin file)
Close to $14 million in money granted to RDN in first half of year

Successful grants include more than $4 million for transit service in Regional District of Nanaimo

A section of the rail corridor on Vancouver Island. (Black Press file photo)
LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Put rail trail right overtop of the tracks

Removing tracks would be a horrendous expense, says letter writer

District of Lantzville Mayor Mark Swain, left, and Snaw-Naw-As Chief Gordon Edwards sign a memorandum of understanding outside Snaw-Naw-As Market on Friday, June 18. (Greg Sakaki/News Bulletin)
Lantzville and Snaw-Naw-As sign memorandum of understanding

District and First Nation create joint working group

Robin Dutton, left, and Peter Sinclair are taking their mountain bikes and travelling down trails in the Mount Benson area June 19 as part of a 24-hour fundraiser benefiting Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Full-day mountain bike fundraiser gives financial support for Nanaimo food bank

Event part of Loaves and Fishes Community Food Bank’s Food 4 Summer campaign

(V.I. Trail/Google Maps)
Now 90% complete, Vancouver Island trail forges new funding partnership

Victoria Foundation takes on Vancouver Island Trail Association; fund valued at $40,000

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read