PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Rather than celebrating the new year, a number of firefighters in Providence will be out and about with one goal in mind: getting you home safely.
In an effort to keep city roadways free of impaired drivers, members of Providence Fire Fighters IAFF Local 799 are offering free rides home to those celebrating at bars and restaurants.
“We will have volunteer firefighters off-duty, totally sourced by the union, that will offer free rides home to New Year’s Eve-celebrating individuals,” union president Derek Silva said Tuesday.
This marks the sixth year the union has offered its “Safe Rides” program.
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Regardless of how much you’ve had to drink, Silva says don’t hesitate to call – it’s a judgment-free zone. Last year, firefighters made roughly 100 rides on New Year’s Eve.
While ringing in the “Noon Year” with his son Omar, Mayor Jorge Elorza offered a message to those celebrating Tuesday night: “Make sure you’re having someone else drive tonight. Just enjoy yourself but be safe.”
Silva said the program is a step toward preventing tragic accidents caused by drunk driving.
“Safety can be a concern for individuals when they’ve had too much to drink, and what better ride than to have them driven by a couple of firefighters?” he said.
Rides to private residences within the city will be available from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 7 a.m. Wednesday. To request a safe ride, call (401) 272-7999.