But the opportunity to use his 1985 custom re-built Ford Ranger truck to help others came last month during the snowstorm.
With icy road conditions across the community, Cherokee County Senior Services could not deliver meals to the snowed-in, homebound clients.
"Curtis called, and his concern was that it was four days since the seniors has been delivered meals," said senior services Director Nathan Brandon. "He asked if we would like for him to check on them for us."
On Jan. 13, Barnhardt, the county manager for the Cherokee County Environmental Health Department, brought eight volunteers from the Georgia Bounty Runners 4WD Club to use their vehicles to deliver the Meals-on-Wheels food. With the help of his friends, Jay and Debbie Bird, John English, Paul Fon, Chuck Holmgreen, Donny Thompson and Shawn and Daniel Salters, Barnhardt led the team to deliver almost 100 meals.
"They delivered two packs of food (per senior) to get them through the weekend and confirmed more than 100 seniors were OK," said Brandon.
For his service to the community, Barnhardt has been honored as the Cherokee Families of Cherokee United in Service Volunteer of the Month for February.
"It was great to get out there and see the people," the 54-year-old Barnhardt said of delivering meals. "They were surprised and relieved to see us."
The retired Air Force Reserve lieutenant colonel also helped deliver medical supplies for Piedmont Hospital from Atlanta to Jasper.
For Barnhardt, who usually goes looking for snow and ice outside of the area for off-road thrills, the opportunity was exciting.
"It was a lot of fun talking to people and being able to help them and make sure they were OK," he said.
Barnhardt and his fellow club members first got involved using their vehicles for emergency community service after the floods of September 2009.
Renee Cornelison of the Cherokee Sheriff's Office Division of Emergency Management, who nominated Barnhardt for the award, encouraged him to get his group to help out more.
So, 22 club members went through training to become part of the county's Community Emergency Response Team.
"They taught us useful things like first-aid, life-saving skills, CPR and search and rescue," said Barnhardt.
Each of the club members now carries a backpack with a first-aid kit and other supplies. Barnhardt said he and his truck are on call for future emergencies.
"It's a comfort to know they will back us up when we need to get to our seniors," said Sharon Smith, the county's Meals-on-Wheels supervisor.
"Now they are a part of our plan," added Brandon. "Curtis is on speed dial."