College honors first responders | Wake Technical Community College


RALEIGH, NC (April 19, 2022) – Dozens of local first responders “answered” a special call today at Wake Tech. The college hosted “Thank a Hero,” a special event at the Public Safety Education Campus to show police officers, firefighters, emergency medical services personnel, and others who dedicate their lives to helping people in need how much they are appreciated.

The event began with a special dedication in memory of Knightdale Police Officer Ryan Hayworth, a graduate of Wake Tech Law Enforcement Training Academy (BLET) who was killed in the taking office last fall. A dogwood tree was planted on campus and a commemorative plaque was unveiled in his honor.

Officer Hayworth’s father, former Zebulon Police Chief Tim Hayworth, said his son had lived a life of service.

“Ryan served God, his family, his friends and his community,” Tim Hayworth said. “I want to encourage everyone to live like Ryan and be of service to others.”

After the special ceremony, the first responders were treated to a thank-you lunch. Senior Wake Tech executives, including President Dr. Scott Ralls and members of the Wake Tech Board of Directors, helped serve the barbecue and fried chicken.

First responders were also able to sign up for AT&T’s FirstNet, the nation’s first national public safety communications platform dedicated to public safety workers. The service helps them connect to the essential information they need in an emergency.

“Wake Tech is honored to serve the law enforcement and public safety community in our region,” Dr. Ralls said. “Today we have the privilege of thanking you for keeping our communities safe.”

Thank a Hero was sponsored by AT&T FirstNet, Curtis Media, Civic Federal Credit Union, InVeris Training Solutions and Action Target Inc.

Wake Tech trains the largest number of first responders in the state, including law enforcement and corrections officers, firefighters, EMS, State Bureau of Investigation, and U.S. Department of Homeland Security personnel. It was the first community college in North Carolina—and the second in the nation—to earn CALEA® accreditation for its public safety training academy. CALEA®, the Commission on Accreditation of Law Enforcement Agencies, recognizes best practice and professional excellence in policy and practice.


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