Providence firefighters to offer free rides to residents on New Year’s Eve

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — For the second year in a row, the Providence Fire Fighters IAFF Local 799 will be offering free rides home to anyone in the city on New Year’s Eve.

According to Paul Doughty, the president of the firefighters’ union, the Safe Night service will be offered from 5 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 31, until 7 a.m. on Friday, Jan. 1.

“We’ll take you anywhere in the city to anywhere in the city,” he told Eyewitness News on Wednesday.

Doughty said the rides are offered from bars and restaurants in Providence to private residences within the city.

“Not only do we work here, but we care about Providence and the people that live here,” he said. “It’s a way for us to give back in a safe and fun way to help those that are out celebrating enjoy the city of Providence, have a good time and then get home safely.”

Doughty said statistically New Year’s Eve is one of the busiest nights of the year for the fire department – especially with car accidents.

Over Thanksgiving, more than 20 people were arrested by State Police for alcohol-related crimes, and another 10 were arrested around Christmas.

“And it’s really our goal to reduce the number of accidents and the number of injuries from that accidents,” Doughty said.

During the Safe Night program, a limited number of off-duty firefighters will be available to field calls and organize rides, so partygoers should expect delays. The union even rented a 12-passenger van.

For a ride, residents should call (401) 272-7999.

According to Doughty, the program is sponsored and staffed by Providence firefighters and is not an official program of the City of Providence.

“It was an overwhelming success last year and it was something we wanted to repeat again this year,” he said.

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