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A volunteer with Operation Red Nose says giving rides to those who shouldn't be behind the wheel after drinking, is a way they're helping to save lives.

Farrel Rempel says he has been volunteering since the campaign started in the La Broquerie and Steinbach areas in 2012. Rempel notes about three years ago he found a vehicle on the side of the road and it serves as an example of why Operation Red Nose is needed in all communities.

"I banged on the guy's window so hard, I thought he was dead actually, me and another guy. Finally, he gets up and he was so drunk, he had no idea where he was or what was what. It was good that he had pulled over, but it was so stupid that he was even [driving], he had no business even driving. So, we drove his vehicle, drove him where he needed to go and kept the keys, gave them to someone else. But, stuff like that should never ever be happening. Unfortunately, it does."

Rempel says, he hopes campaigns like Operation Red Nose will make people more aware and help them to realize the dangers of drinking and driving.

Pat Tetrault has also been volunteering with the campaign since 2012 and says a safe ride home for someone who is impaired will help make sure everyone who is with us this Christmas, is with us again next Christmas.

"The local RCMP appreciate us because we are bringing everyone home safe. Every night that we go and the next morning we don't have headlines: 'single vehicle accident,' 'somebody got an impaired last night,' and so on. Just that there's an alternative to going home under the influence is great for us. The fact that we can dot hat for the Southeast, I believe, goes a long way."

Tetrault says volunteering is a great experience.

"The stories, the people we meet while we're doing this; bringing people home safe is something that you go home at night knowing full well you've done something good for the community."

He and Rempel note there are new friendships made, and great stories to tell for years afterward. Rempel adds you don't need to be in a group of people to volunteer because an individual or small groups of two or three people can join other groups.

To volunteer with Operation Red Nose, or to get a safe ride home for you and your vehicle, phone 204-424-9555.

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