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Jeep Crew steps up to help stranded motorists, healthcare workers in Clarksville

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By Keely Quinlan

clarksvillenow.com

 2021-02-19

CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – Over the last few days, you may have noticed an uptick in Jeeps cruising the streets around town, or assisting stranded motorists after their cars got stuck in the ice and snow. These folks are part of the Clarksville Jeep Crew. “Whether it be pulling...

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Jeep Crew steps up to help stranded motorists, healthcare workers in Clarksville

CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – Over the last few days, you may have noticed an uptick in Jeeps cruising the streets around town, or assisting stranded motorists after their cars got stuck in the ice and snow. These folks are part of the Clarksville Jeep Crew.

“Whether it be pulling people out of ditches, or with all these cars that have been having issues getting up the steep hills in Clarksville with the weather, we’ll pull them up the hill,” Jeep driver Jarrod Kitchen said.

Essential help

Kitchen is a member of the Clarksville Jeep Crew. He’s a wheeled vehicle mechanic with the Army at Fort Campbell, and he joined the crew upon returning from a lengthy deployment to South Korea at the end of January.

He drives a dark green, 1996 Jeep Cherokee Country that he lovingly named “Gumby.”

When Clarksville got slammed with two back-to-back winter storms over the past week that created dangerous road conditions, Kitchen and the crew stepped up, offering tows and rides to essential workers – all done without a tip or reimbursement.

Brookdale Senior Living on Memorial Drive is one such healthcare facility in Clarksville whose employees needed rides to work. Denise Rangel, the business office coordinator at Brookdale, put out an all-call on Facebook asking if anyone could help with rides for the Brookdale associates, and the Clarksville Jeep Crew stepped up.

“Within just a matter of moments, Kenneth (Klein) already had rides for my people, and I just watched them set everything up from their Facebook page and group. They had a whole dispatch system set up, so I just had to give them an associate’s name, information, where to pick up from, where the community was, and what time their shift was,” Rangel told Clarksville Now.

How it started

Kenneth Klein founded the Clarksville Jeep Crew in 2019 with some friends, and formed the Facebook page that they now centralize community efforts through.

“My husband got together with a few guys who wanted to start a group that they can meet up and try to go out to Turkey Bay or off-road parks together. So we started a Facebook page with just a few of them. It wasn’t long after that we had almost 100 people added into the group pretty quickly,” Kenneth Klein’s wife, Valerie, told Clarksville Now.

Now the group has over 1,200 members in the Facebook group.

Well-oiled machine

The crew had two teams running throughout the week: one team coordinated via walkie-talkie apps and were in communication with the Clarksville Police Department to step in where the police requested assistance. The other half of the group ran healthcare workers to and from their vital workplaces, like Brookdale.

“We’ve done over 200 transports to and from work for people. We’ve got five or six people running an Excel spreadsheet, and then we’ve got three crew members taking requests,” Valerie said.

When the calls came in, groups of five or 10 Jeep drivers stationed themselves all over town awaiting rescue calls to come through. Each call was taken and documented in the spreadsheet. Klein said the longest someone had to wait for help was five or 10 minutes.

“It’s really been a 24-hour job. I don’t think any of us realized how much work it was going to be when we signed up for it. We’re taking calls 24/7. My husband’s phone stops ringing around 1 a.m., but then starts ringing again around 3 or 4 a.m.,” Valerie added with an almost nervous laugh.

The crew also stepped up in other ways during the winter storms.

“There was a mother and father whose baby needed formula, and all the stores were closed around them, so one of the crew members actually had some formula and took it to them,” Valerie said.

Along with employees at Brookdale, Tennova Healthcare, and a slew of other health facilities around town, healthcare workers who reside in Clarksville received rides down to their jobs at Vanderbilt in Nashville, The crew eventually stopped offering rides outside of Montgomery County as they had too many local calls for rescue.

“If there’s a really desperate situation, we’re going to do everything we can to help out,” Valerie added.

More than just a Jeep

The crew’s main motivation is to give back to the community where they can. In addition to helping out during inclement weather situations, the crew steps up when the community needs support that only a Jeep can provide.

They paid respect to Ms. Sheryl, a beloved member of the Sango community who was hit and killed on Feb. 10, at her services on Feb. 13 before the winter weather moved in the following day.

“We had about 20 or so Jeeps that did a funeral lineup for her,” Kitchen said.

“The view that we had to for the crew was really to just be family-friendly, community-oriented, to give back where we could, to clean up where we we could. It’s really just all about giving back to the community and supporting in any way that we can,” Valerie added.

The group also took part in the search for Justin Sawyer on Feb. 6, in which the Jeep drivers navigated muddy backroads in looking for the 20-year-old.

“We just can’t give them enough praise. It’s a blessing to see all of those people out there helping us, and helping strangers that they don’t know, and the trickle-down effect that has is just tremendous,” Rangel said.

Keely Quinlan

Keely Quinlan is a news reporter at ClarksvilleNow.com. Reach her by email at [email protected] or on Twitter at @keelyquinlann.

Sours: https://clarksvillenow.com/local/jeep-crew-steps-up-to-help-stranded-motorists-healthcare-workers-in-clarksville/
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CLARKSVILLE, TN (CLARKSVILLE NOW) – Over the last few days, you may have noticed an uptick in Jeeps cruising the streets around town, or assisting stranded motorists after their cars got stuck in the ice and snow. These folks are part of the Clarksville Jeep Crew.

“Whether it be pulling people out of ditches, or with all these cars that have been having issues getting up the steep hills in Clarksville with the weather, we’ll pull them up the hill,” Jeep driver Jarrod Kitchen said.

Essential help

Kitchen is a member of the Clarksville Jeep Crew. He’s a wheeled vehicle mechanic with the Army at Fort Campbell, and he joined the crew upon returning from a lengthy deployment to South Korea at the end of January.

He drives a dark green, 1996 Jeep Cherokee Country that he lovingly named “Gumby.”

When Clarksville got slammed with two back-to-back winter storms over the past week that created dangerous road conditions, Kitchen and the crew stepped up, offering tows and rides to essential workers – all done without a tip or reimbursement.

Brookdale Senior Living on Memorial Drive is one such healthcare facility in Clarksville whose employees needed rides to work. Denise Rangel, the business office coordinator at Brookdale, put out an all-call on Facebook asking if anyone could help with rides for the Brookdale associates, and the Clarksville Jeep Crew stepped up.

“Within just a matter of moments, Kenneth (Klein) already had rides for my people, and I just watched them set everything up from their Facebook page and group. They had a whole dispatch system set up, so I just had to give them an associate’s name, information, where to pick up from, where the community was, and what time their shift was,” Rangel told Clarksville Now.

How it started

Kenneth Klein founded the Clarksville Jeep Crew in 2019 with some friends, and formed the Facebook page that they now centralize community efforts through.

“My husband got together with a few guys who wanted to start a group that they can meet up and try to go out to Turkey Bay or off-road parks together. So we started a Facebook page with just a few of them. It wasn’t long after that we had almost 100 people added into the group pretty quickly,” Kenneth Klein’s wife, Valerie, told Clarksville Now.

Now the group has over 1,200 members in the Facebook group.

Well-oiled machine

The crew had two teams running throughout the week: one team coordinated via walkie-talkie apps and were in communication with the Clarksville Police Department to step in where the police requested assistance. The other half of the group ran healthcare workers to and from their vital workplaces, like Brookdale.

“We’ve done over 200 transports to and from work for people. We’ve got five or six people running an Excel spreadsheet, and then we’ve got three crew members taking requests,” Valerie said.

When the calls came in, groups of five or 10 Jeep drivers stationed themselves all over town awaiting rescue calls to come through. Each call was taken and documented in the spreadsheet. Klein said the longest someone had to wait for help was five or 10 minutes.

“It’s really been a 24-hour job. I don’t think any of us realized how much work it was going to be when we signed up for it. We’re taking calls 24/7. My husband’s phone stops ringing around 1 a.m., but then starts ringing again around 3 or 4 a.m.,” Valerie added with an almost nervous laugh.

The crew also stepped up in other ways during the winter storms.

“There was a mother and father whose baby needed formula, and all the stores were closed around them, so one of the crew members actually had some formula and took it to them,” Valerie said.

Along with employees at Brookdale, Tennova Healthcare, and a slew of other health facilities around town, healthcare workers who reside in Clarksville received rides down to their jobs at Vanderbilt in Nashville, The crew eventually stopped offering rides outside of Montgomery County as they had too many local calls for rescue.

“If there’s a really desperate situation, we’re going to do everything we can to help out,” Valerie added.

More than just a Jeep

The crew’s main motivation is to give back to the community where they can. In addition to helping out during inclement weather situations, the crew steps up when the community needs support that only a Jeep can provide.

They paid respect to Ms. Sheryl, a beloved member of the Sango community who was hit and killed on Feb. 10, at her services on Feb. 13 before the winter weather moved in the following day.

“We had about 20 or so Jeeps that did a funeral lineup for her,” Kitchen said.

“The view that we had to for the crew was really to just be family-friendly, community-oriented, to give back where we could, to clean up where we we could. It’s really just all about giving back to the community and supporting in any way that we can,” Valerie added.

The group also took part in the search for Justin Sawyer on Feb. 6, in which the Jeep drivers navigated muddy backroads in looking for the 20-year-old.

“We just can’t give them enough praise. It’s a blessing to see all of those people out there helping us, and helping strangers that they don’t know, and the trickle-down effect that has is just tremendous,” Rangel said.

Story © 2021 - Images © 2021 Clarksville Now

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Sours: https://myez999.com/local/jeep-crew-steps-up-to-help-stranded-motorists-healthcare-workers-in-clarksville/
Turkey Bay with Clarksville Jeep Crew 11.17.19

Clarksville Jeep Crew

Welcome new members. Do not make rude or snide remarks. Keep in mind text communication can create a lot of miscommunication.

Represent the Crew in a positive manner. We want to be welcomed and accepted by the community. Make a good impression everywhere you go with or without the group. No illegal activities.

3

Membership Location Requirements

All members should live in Clarksville/Nearby cities or be deemed a contributing member of the crew (some level of Clarksville Jeep community involvement. I.e. Rides, Event involvement, etc.).

4

No self promotion or spammy sales posts

If someone asks about a service, feel free to chime in, but we dont want the news feed cluttered with sales. Club decals and shirts are excluded from this rule, but are not to be posted excessively.

Examples of drama are: posting an issue with someone that should be discussed in private; Trolling; Speaking negatively about a business or person unless the opinion is asked of you. Report any drama.

We are here to be contributing members of Clarksville (inside or outside the Jeep community). If you're a member of Clarksville Jeep Crew we expect you to use your talents and gifts to help others.

7

Pack out more than you pack in

Leave the trails/event sites cleaner than when you left.

If rules are broken, you will be given a warning. If the offense continues, you will be removed from the group.

Sours: https://www.facebook.com/groups/clarksvillejeepcrew/

Jeep crew clarksville

'We like helping people in the community': Clarksville Jeep Crew comes to the aid of drivers during winter storm

Kenny Barnes, one of the admins of the Clarksville Jeep Crew, peers out his window to watch Ms Penny Dejesus walk back to her apartment after dropping her off from her shift at Tennova at Ms Penny's apartment complex in Clarksville, Tenn., on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.

Kenny Barnes doesn't see himself as a hero. Just a Jeep lover. 

Barnes is an infantry soldier with the 101st Airborne Division, and an expectant father whose first child — a son — is due this spring. He's also a member of the Clarksville Jeep Crew.

This band of all-wheel drivers rallied this week to help stranded drivers stuck in snow and ice, offer rides to essential workers trying to get to work and assist anyone in need during this blast of winter weather.

"I guess it's just a Jeep thing, honestly," Barnes said.

It's an ad hoc crew which typically gathers for off-roading joyrides. Then Middle Tennessee was hit with monstrous weather.

Members of the Clarksville Jeep Crew including Kenny Barnes, front, and Tadd Jennings, right behind him, help push a car that had stalled on Wilma Rudolph into a parking space at Autozone on Wilma Rudolph in Clarksville, Tenn., on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.

It's been a chilly undertaking, but it's one Barnes said he likes doing. It's especially worthwhile during a time Barnes said people don't always expect kindness from strangers —  in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, nonetheless. 

For Barnes, he's paying it forward. Last year, when he was training out of town, locals stepped in to help his wife, who was suffering from morning sickness. 

So this week, she joined him in his blue Jeep Unlimited he's nicknamed 'Lil Bear, putting in long days that kept them out in snowy streets for several nights until about 10:30 p.m.

"As a crew, we just like helping each other, and we like helping people in the community," Barnes said.

Eat your heart out, Ghostbusters

Fellow crew member Lauren Banks, a military spouse who's the proud owner of a red Jeep Wrangler, said the effort came about organically, with her making a joke online as the storm approached that everyone with a wench would need to go be a superhero. 

But when the flakes started flying, the crew members were ready.

"I think people just automatically started helping," Banks said.

She and her husband headed to help out as soon as road conditions started getting bad. Then, they started running into other crew members out doing the same.

Soon they were all pulling people out of trouble spots on Clarksville roads and organizing rides for essential workers, complete with a schedule to keep track of requests and follow-up calls to provide ride information.

Ms Penny Dejesus places her hand over her backpack on the ride home from her shift at Tennova Healthcare in Clarksville, Tenn., on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.

News of their efforts spread through social media and word of mouth.

That's how Sango E.R. worker Elizabeth Porter heard of them, as she was desperately trying to find a ride to her night shift. She's a Clarksville native who's not used to driving in snow.

"I knew there was no way I was going to be able to drive out there in my little Hyundai Elantra," Porter said

Porter said the crew gave her rides all week; always friendly, always professional. Even calling ahead to let her know who'd be giving her a ride each time.

"Thank you a million times," Porter said of her interaction with the Jeeps. "I definitely would have been in a ditch. I could cry just thinking about it."

Kenny Barnes, center, helps other members of the Clarksville Jeep Crew examine a stalled car's engine to see if it needs just a jump or a new alternator along Wilma Rudolph Blvd in Clarksville, Tenn., on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.

Banks said that's the reaction they got from many.

"There was one lady, she cried and told me I didn't know how much it meant to her," Banks remembered. "It made me cry."

Banks split her time between helping on the ground and monitoring for calls for help on social media, acting as something as a dispatch for the effort.

"I was getting the men to go where I needed them to go, and then trying to keep up with who's going where, for their safety," Banks said.

City officials like chief of police David Crockarell called their help invaluable.

"We appreciate the citizens and groups like the Clarksville Jeep (Crew) getting out there to help people who are stuck or who have gone off the road," Crockarell said.

Barnes said his team focused on roadway trouble spots, like the hills on Tiny Town Road or in the Eagles Bluff subdivision. These slopes tend to be the most perilous places for drivers. But he said they got calls from all over the city, from Sango, to downtown to the north side.

Kenny Barnes retrieves tow straps from the back of his jeep to pull a stalled car to an automotive parts store on Wilma Rudolph Blvd in Clarksville, Tenn., on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.

One rescue on a hilly stretch of road, Barnes recalled, required a team effort.

"We were actually with another member up on a hill," Barnes said. "I hooked my wench to their Jeep, and they hooked their wench to a car that couldn't get up the hill."

Barnes then shifted into 4-wheel drive, pulling the other Jeep, as it dragged the car. 

Banks shared a similar story of pulling a car up a hill, as well as pulling car after car out of the snow on College Street.

She said most people were shocked they weren't asking for payment. 

"People were definitely very shocked we weren't charging, that we were just helping out," Banks said. 

"We're just doing it to help the community out of the kindness of our hearts."

Clarksville Jeep Crew members pull a car up a snowy hill in Clarksville, Tenn. during a snowstorm in Feb. 2021.

Assisting others in their gears, err, DNA

Barnes said he's seen worse conditions in Clarksville — when he got stuck in Clarksville during a snowstorm in 2016 while with the Tennessee National Guard.

But it's moments like this week which remind Barnes of why he's always liked coming to the rescue, as far back as when he was in high school in Knoxville.

"I drove a single cab, long-bed truck that was just a 2-wheel drive, 4-speed truck," Barnes recalled. "I would just go around with a tow strap or a ratchet strap, and just help people that were stuck in ditches.

"I've done it since high school, and my mom would yell at me."

Kenny Barnes looks out his side window with his wife Katy Barned to chat with another Jeep driver about a stalled car needing a tow at Tennova Healthcare in Clarksville, Tenn., on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.

Banks said where she's originally from — Waco, Texas — everybody helps everybody. It's just what they do.

"I have always been the type of person to help anybody," Banks said. "I find joy in making other people happy."

People helping people

They all said Jeep lovers are just the type to help out.

That's what's kept him going, especially when Barnes knows he's been able to help someone in need. One of his favorite moments this week was when he got called to Fort Campbell to help a pregnant young woman with morning sickness.

Kenny Barnes calls in to his fellow Jeep drivers on their radio when trying to organize where to meet up for a bite to eat at Sam's Club in Clarksville, Tenn., on Tuesday, Feb. 16, 2021.

She couldn't get her car on the road. So Barnes and his wife went grocery shopping.

Ginger ale. Soup. Pedialyte.

The woman, appreciative, asked what she owned them.

Nothing, they said. Her gratitude was more than enough.

"My wife, who's pregnant too, just loaded up a bag of things," Barnes said. "The woman was really thankful. She cried. It was cool, just to see that experience."

Clarksville Jeep Crew members lined up in the snow, ready and waiting to help out drivers in Clarksville, Tenn. during the Feb. 2021 snowstorm.

Reach Jennifer Babich at 931-245-0742 or by email at [email protected]

Sours: https://www.theleafchronicle.com/story/news/2021/02/19/clarksville-jeep-crew-comes-aid-drivers-during-winter-storm/4489506001/
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