Am I A Fireman Yet? A True Story
In Phoenix , Arizona, a 26-year-old mother stared down at her 6 year old son, who was dying of leukemia.
Although her heart was filled with sadness, she also had a strong feeling of determination Like any mother, she wanted her son to grow up and fulfill all his dreams. Now that was no longer possible.
The leukemia would see to that. But she still wanted her son’s dream to come true.
She took her son’ s hand and asked, “Bopsy, (his nickname) did you ever think about what you wanted to be once you grew up? Did you ever dream and wish about what you would do with your life?”
Mommy, ‘I always wanted to be a fireman when I grew up.’
Mom smiled back and said, ‘Let’s see if we can make your wish come true.’
Later that day she went to her local fire Department in Phoenix , Arizona , where she met Fireman Bob, who had! a heart as big as Phoenix
She explained her son’s final wish and asked if it might be possible to give her 6 year-old son a ride around the block on a fire engine
Fireman Bob said, ‘Look, we can do better than that. If you’ll have your son ready at 7 o’clock Wednesday morning, we’ll make him an honorary Fireman for the whole day. He can come down to the fire station, eat with us, go out on all the fire calls, the whole nine yards!
And if you’ll give us his sizes, we’ll get a real fire uniform for him, with a real fire hat – not a toy — one-with the emblem of the Phoenix Fire Department on it, a yellow slicker like
we wear, and rubber boots.’
‘They’re all manufactured right here in Phoenix , so we can get them fast.’
Three days later Fireman Bob picked up Bopsy, dressed him in his uniform and escorted him from his hospital bed to the waiting hook and ladder truck.
Billy got to sit on the back of the truck and help steer it back to the fire station. He was in heaven.
There were three fire calls in Phoenix that day and Bopsy got to go out on all three calls.
He rode in the different fire engines, the Paramedic’s’ van, and even the fire chief’s car.
He was also videotaped for the
local news program.
Having his dream come true, with all the love and attention that was lavished upon him, so deeply touched Bopsy, that he lived three months longer than any doctor thought possible.
One night all of his vital signs began to drop dramatically and the head nurse, who believed in the hospice concept – that no one should die alone, began to call the family members to the hospital.
Then she remembered the day Bopsy had spent as a Fireman, so she called the Fire Chief and
asked if it would be possible to send a fireman in uniform to the hospital to be with Billy as he
made his transition.
The chief replied, “We can do better than that. We’ll be there in five minutes.. Will you please do me a favor?
When you hear the sirens screaming and see the lights flashing, will you announce over the
PA system at the hospital that there is not a fire?”
‘It’s the department coming to see one of its finest members one more time. And will you open the window to his room?’
About five minutes later a hook and ladder truck arrived at the hospital and extended its ladder up to Bopsy’s third floor open window 16 fire-fighters climbed up the ladder into Billy’s
With his mother’s permission, they hugged him and held him and told him how much they LOVED him.
With his dying breath, Bopsy looked up at the fire chief and said,
‘Chief, am I really a fireman now?’
‘Bopsy, you are, and The Head Chief, Jesus, is holding your hand,’ the chief said.
With those words, Bopsy smiled and said, ‘I know, He’s been holding my hand all day, and
the angels have been singing..’
He closed his eyes one last time.
This story has been shared with SonnyRadio.com readers around the world and is indeed true. In 1981, Frank “Bopsy” Salazar became the first Make-A-Wish child in Phoenix. He actually had 3 wishes, including to experience a hot air balloon ride and to go to Disneyland. Before his passing, thanks to many caring and wonderful people, he had lived them all.