Local Hero: Richard (Ross) Ridenour


Presented to an outstanding individual who displayed courage and caring upon encountering an unusual, significant, or unexpected incident.

Some people just have a knack for being at the right place at the right time. Fortunately for University of Minnesota economics instructor Lei “Nick” Guo, Richard “Ross” Ridenour has that knack.

It was the morning of July 16, 2009 and Nick, 29, was riding his bike on his way to teach a class at Willey Hall. He was attempting to turn right on a red light when a driver hit him at full-speed. He flew off his bike and fell to the ground, striking his head on the pavement. Almost immediately he experienced shooting pains in his neck and lower back.

“I was scared to death at that moment,” Nick recalls.

Ross Ridenour, 19, was on his way to an internship at Mesaba Airlines in Eagan when he witnessed the crash. He immediately pulled over to help. He had just received American Red Cross First Aid and CPR training the night before the accident, so knew to make sure Nick’s back remained straight until the paramedics arrived.

“He gave me needed help, professional assistance, and psychological support,” Nick says. “He helped me to keep body fixed and my head straight. He helped me to communicate with the police officer and the paramedic who came later, and he helped me calm down after the horrifying accident.”

The Red Cross training Ross received could not have come at a more opportune time. Ross says he will forever be indebted to the Red Cross for teaching him how to react in an emergency situation. “This was a life-changing moment for me.”