Marshall Technical School students put on full protection exercise with Progress Rail leader

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GUNTERSVILLE, Ala.  -- A group of Marshall County students spent a good bit of the day Tuesday in the culmination of something that has taken weeks to plan. Imagine the President of the United States came to town. Well, that's exactly what the students were doing.

If the President came to Marshall County, he would have a whole outfit of security with him -- each one with a job, there would be a detailed evacuation plan, and each visit location would be mapped out. That's what students in the law enforcement portion of the Public Safety class at Marshall Technical School did Tuesday. Except, instead of the president, the students' VIP was Ed O'Neal of Progress Rail.

That corporation and multiple others helped make the exercise possible. "It's given us an opportunity to actually take our VIP from their corporate jet to here in a motorcade, with the kids doing all of the site surveys and advances for everything that we've done today," Public Safety instructor Lt. Martin Killion says.

The visits include the Albertville Airport, Marshall Technical School, and a local restaurant. Each location has been mapped out in every detail by students, all the way down to an evacuation route.

"Each place has a secure place for the VIP in case something goes wrong, and they have a meeting room," explains student Carmen Sanchez.

It took weeks of planning, but it's an experience that some of these students might just do -- for real -- in the future. "It's a lot of work, but it's fun," Sanchez says.

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