This week’s Hometown Hero, presented by Hendrick Southpoint, is Dr. Todd Wirt from Orange County Schools.

The superintendent for Orange County Schools works closely with Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood and others to ensure that students within the school district are safe.

“I can think of no better person to work with towards this common goal of safety in our schools than Dr. Wirt and his staff,” said Blackwood. “They’re available constantly. I can call him at 11 o’clock on Saturday night and he’ll answer the phone.”

With a concern about school safety popping up in the national conscience, Dr. Wirt and Sheriff Blackwood have been discussing ways to evaluate safety conditions at various school events.

“We work collaboratively with the Sheriff’s Office on training for our staff, on evaluations of our buildings,” said Dr. Wirt. “As a school system, we host a lot of large events, football games and there’s a lot of safety considerations.

“We have members of Sheriff’s team that come in and do training with our administrators at our sites. They’ve also helped us create tabletop exercises where we’re running through scenarios. If this happens, what do we do? And we do that as a leadership team. Then we replicate those at every single school. So we have virtually every staff member in our system that’s going through these tabletop exercises.”

Listen to the interview with Dr. Todd Wirt and Sheriff Charles Blackwood: