Former Benco Dental Field Technician Jon Ryan’s quick action, sparked by his Mixed Martial Arts training, was recently crucial assistance for a Massachusetts teen who’d just been hit by a speeding car.
JON RYAN chose to help an injured stranger at a literal and figurative fork in the road last December. While driving to a service call in Wakefield, Massachusetts, Ryan, a Benco Dental Field Technician at the time, witnessed a speeding vehicle crossing traffic and plowing into an 18-year-old man strolling on the sidewalk.
Ryan pulled his van to the side and rushed to help. “The Audi SUV was going 35 to 40 miles per hour when it hit the kid, who was thrown into the air,” he recalls. “He went above the car. When he came down, he was bleeding from his head and had a concussion. I pulled off my Benco jacket and used it to support his head, and grabbed my extra uniform shirt to stop the bleeding.”
[The victim] went above the car. When he came down, he was bleeding from the head and had a concussion. I pulled off my Benco jacket and used it to support his head, and grabbed my extra uniform shirt to stop the bleeding.”
Ryan, 35, is a seasoned Mixed Martial Arts competitor and proficient bowhunter, so he wasn’t fazed by the mayhem. “Anyone who has ever seen a Thai boxing fight is well aware that it’s not for the squeamish,” he says. “And having been a bouncer in Boston for 15 years, you just learn how to keep cool under pressure.”
The teen was unconscious when Ryan got to him, and the Benco tech was staggered by the Kitty Genovese–reminiscent reaction of others passing by. “No one stopped,” he says. “Everyone was slowing down and looking once the police and fire engines were there, but when I had this kid in my arms in the beginning, I was screaming for [the Audi driver] to call 911, because I couldn’t.”
Fortunately, the young man regained consciousness and was able to share his name with the police and point them to his residence nearby. He’s a high school football player set to graduate this spring, Ryan says. “He had just dropped off his little brother home from school and was on his way to the gym. He had his back to traffic.”
The worst part, he says, was seeing the young man’s family in distress. “[His mother] saw what was going on. A block away, she got off the bus from work—she’s a nurse—to see her son being loaded on a stretcher. She was screaming, running and crying. I felt so bad when she rode off with him in the ambulance.”
Two days later, Ryan paid a visit to the family home. “I saw his father and asked how he was doing. When I left, I gave his dad the biggest hug,” he says. “Every now and then you’ve got to give the shirt off your back for someone you don’t know.”
Meet Jon Ryan
Residence: Atkinson, New Hampshire
Pet: Abel, a blue nose pitbull. “I’ve had him since he was seven and a half weeks old; he’s 9 years old now. He’s like my son.”
Favorite Aspect of His Career: “There’s always a challenge around the corner. Every dental office is different; no two calls are the same. I like helping people—it’s one of the things I enjoy.”
When He’s Not at Work, You’ll Find Him: Working on his Dodge Challenger; streaming horror movies; bowhunting and hiking in New Hampshire’s White Mountains. “Camping in New England is just serenity.”