HANOVER COUNTY, Va. (WRIC) — Hanover County Fire and EMS welcomed their newest and youngest firefighter to the team.

Javi Guzman, 7, was sworn in Monday as a junior firefighter in Hanover County. His brother, Alex Guzman, pinned his badge on his shirt while dressed in a Hanover County fire uniform.

Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia fulfilled Guzman’s wish to become a firefighter while battling non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma.

Sheri Lambert, the president and CEO of Make-A-Wish Greater Virginia, said they were planning Guzman’s wish before the pandemic started. However, the wish was delayed to this year out of concern for his immune system.  

Guzman said his favorite part about being a firefighter was, “Go on a helicopter!” He flew in a helicopter with his father and grandmother. Guzman also toured the LifeEvac facility with VCU Health.

Fire crews took him on a ride in the fire truck, taught him extrication and how to put out a plane fire. They also ate lunch with Guzman at the firehouse.

The simulated extrication exercise allowed Guzman to help save someone from under a vehicle.

After battling with a critical illness for a few years, Guzman’s mother, Amy Guzman, said he’s now in remission.

“He has so many great days ahead of him and to look forward to,” she said. “He can’t wait to be a junior firefighter.”

Martin Guzman, Javi’s father, said being a firefighter is a dream he had since he was little.

“When he heard the fire trucks he would get out of the bathroom, look out the window and say ‘Look at the firefighters. I want to be a firefighter one day.’ I said ‘Well you got to work hard. One day you will,'” he said. “I’m very proud of him.”

Hanover firefighters responded to Guzman’s family’s home about a year ago to put out a fire, a moment he always remembered.

At the swearing-in ceremony, Guzman received two plaques, a coin and a shield.

Jethro Piland, the Hanover County Fire chief, said the coin bonds them together for life. “It is our insignia and it is sort of our symbol that unites us together as a family,” he said.