MARSHALL COUNTY, Ala. (WHNT) – Asbury Schools in Marshall County are ready in the case of severe weather, and it’s all thanks to a resource officer.
“When severe weather happens, it happens quickly,” Marshall County Sheriff’s Office School Lead Officer Hester Hollis said.
Hollis has been stationed at Asbury High School for three years.
He says it’s his duty to protect all of the students, he developed a safety plan for any emergency. Recently, however, he said he noticed a weakness when it came to being severe-weather ready.
“We have weather radios in the school, but if we’re at the field for a game or something, we didn’t have anything on-site,” Hollis said.
Add on top of that the sometimes-spotty cell phone service in the area and he said something had to be done.
“I look at what can happen, will happen, and is going to happen,” Hollis said.
He searched and found a partner in Asbury Waterworks. Together, they purchased and installed six new weather radios in concession stands at the school’s gyms and ball fields.
“This way, somebody will be in the concession stand, where the radios are so they’ll be able to hear it. So you’re not sitting here, going, ‘I don’t have service.’ I look at you, you don’t have service. ‘What do we do?’ This way somebody’s going to know we have a tornado headed our way, we’ve got severe weather, let’s go,” Hollis explained.
This isn’t the first time he’s gone above and beyond to make sure the school is stocked.
In 2021, Hollis fundraised to purchase trauma bags. He’s even been awarded the “Above and Beyond Award” by the state.
“These are my kids, you know?” He said. “My son goes to school here, so the other 1,300 of them are mine too.”
The radios’ use expands even beyond students. Hollis said it covers the community too, as the facilities get used for rec-league sports and other events on the weekends.