‘Not asking for a dime:’ Pennsylvania volunteer firefighter offers free rides home for New Year’s Eve

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COLUMBIA COUNTY, Pa. -- New Year's Eve is traditionally a night for celebration and revelry, and it almost always includes alcohol. That's why a Pennsylvania volunteer firefighter has done his part to make sure his neighbors get home safely for the past six years.

"On New Year's Eve, my wife and I were sitting there watching the ball drop and I was like, 'There's got to be more. There's got to be something I can do for the community and, in general, the area,'" Roger Kessler said.

Six years ago, Kessler decided to offer people in his community free rides home on New Year's Eve.

"I'm not asking for a dime from anybody," said Kessler. "Maybe just a thank you when they get out of the car."

Kessler has served as a Millville volunteer firefighter, part of the vehicle rescue team for over 45 years. Instead of waiting to be sent out to a car crash, he hopes to possibly prevent one from happening.

"I've been involved in using the Jaws of Life to cut roofs off and open up cars to get people out, and it's never a good sight," he said.

"I think it's a great idea," said Sam Krause, student at Bloomsburg University. "I think it'll save a lot of people's lives, especially on New Year's when everyone's drinking and everyone wants to get home safe, so I'm for it. I'll definitely give him a call if I need it."

Kessler posted his offer on Facebook and even said he would drop people off at their cars the next day. The post was shared more than 300 times, but 2019 was the first of the six years he actually had someone take him up on the offer -- two women who said they wanted to go from Bloomsburg back home to Berwick.

Kessler said if he can help anyone, it's worth his time.

"Even if it's just the girl and her friend from here in Bloomsburg, it'll make my night," said Kessler.

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