5-year-old cancer patient sworn in to Unified Fire Authority

Feb 23, 2024, 5:47 PM | Updated: Feb 24, 2024, 2:04 pm

MIDVALE — Like many 5-year-olds, Henry Sorenson would love to be a firefighter when he grows up. So, he was very excited when he learned that the Unified Fire Authority wanted to make it happen.

“We got in the car, and I asked him if he wanted to go be a fireman, and he said yeah,” said Melinda Sorenson, Henry’s mother. “He couldn’t wait to go.”

On Friday, Chief Dom Burchett swore Henry in at UFA’s Station 126 in Midvale.

“Raise your right hand,” said Burchett during the ceremony. “You are very brave. Congratulations.”

Five-year-old Henry Sorenson geared up in a Unified Fire Authority outfit. (Tanner Seigworth, KSL TV)

The firefighters wanted to do this for Henry because as fast as they are fighting fires, time is even more important when it’s a little boy battling cancer.

“We are so lucky because we caught it fast,” Melinda said. “We were up at Primary (Children’s) within three weeks of finding out. We thought he had a fracture.”

At the age of 5, Henry has already been through chemotherapy for bone cancer.

“The worst night for him was actually the night we buzzed his head because it was coming out (and) he wants to have the hair that all the boys have,” Melinda said.

Henry wearing a UFA helmet.

Henry wearing a UFA helmet. (Tanner Siegworth, KSL TV)

Next week, his bone cancer will require surgery that will remove a portion of his leg. Before those tough days ahead, however, Henry was able to be a firefighter, learning about the equipment and tools of the trade.

In the middle of it all, there was even a dispatch call where Henry was called by name because he was needed to put out a fire.

“We’ve got to go! Come on!” said UFA Capt. Steven Schmidt. “We’ve got to get your turnout gear on!”

Not only did Henry get his own firefighting gear, but he also was able to ride in a fire truck to quickly respond to a fire that just happened to be burning in the parking lot of the fire station.

Henry in the firetruck.

Henry in the firetruck. (Tanner Siegworth, KSL TV)

“You ready?” asked a firefighter as Henry took the lead position on the fire hose. “Twist this.”

Henry took down the fire, which was in a small metal box, in less than a minute.

“You did it, dude,” said a firefighter while giving Henry a high-five.

Henry Sorenson with a UFA firefighter taking down the fire.

Henry Sorenson, with a UFA firefighter, taking down the fire. (Tanner Siegworth, KSL TV)

After taking pictures with his family, it was back inside to really experience being a firefighter.

“We heard that firefighter Henry really likes spaghetti right now, and chocolate milk,” Schmidt said.

Henry and his family had a meal with the firefighters.

“This has been an awesome experience,” said Henry’s mother.

Henry at dinner with firefighters.

Henry at dinner with firefighters. (Tanner Siegworth, KSL TV)

Henry’s smile said it all. It was a reminder that no matter what challenges he might have next, he is now part of an extended family who will always be there for him.

“He made our day,” Stevens said. “It takes everybody doing a little bit to make a big difference.”

If you wish to support Henry’s battle with cancer, you can go to his family’s GoFundMe*.

*KSL TV does not assure that the money deposited to the account will be applied for the benefit of the persons named as beneficiaries. If you are considering a deposit to the account, you should consult your own advisors and otherwise proceed at your own risk.

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

You’ve likely noticed a growing number of businesses that have gone completely cashless. When it ...

Matt Gephardt

Businesses are passing their credit card fees onto customers, what can you do?

You’ve likely noticed a growing number of businesses that have gone completely cashless. When it comes time to pay, it’ll involve a tap, swipe or maybe a click on an app. It's a phenomenon that is contributing to the price we pay for goods and services.

29 minutes ago

Juan Diego Catholic High Principal Galey Colosimo speaks to the Utah High School Activities Associa...

Amy Donaldson, KSL Podcasts

Big changes proposed for Utah high school sports involving local, international students

Some massive changes could be coming to high school sports in Utah.

60 minutes ago

$20 bills...

Larry D. Curtis

Ring customers getting millions sent after suit by FTC

The Federal Trade Commission is sending millions of dollars to people who had an account with Ring, a home security camera company, through PayPal.

1 hour ago

A yellow plastic police line, blocking off a scene, and showing a blurred police car in the backgro...

Pat Reavy, KSL.com

Cause of Parowan teacher’s death ‘undetermined’

A recently completed report by the Utah State Medical Examiner's Office could not come up with a conclusive manner of death for a Parowan teacher who died in December.

2 hours ago

a destroyed home...

Lindsay Aerts

Only chimney remains after Utah house containing old dynamite, detonated in Holladay

A chimney and the smell of smoke was all that remained of a home in Holladay Wednesday after a significant amount of old dynamite was discovered inside.

4 hours ago

The Bear River pictured on April 24, 2024. On the topic of the Bear River's resources for water in ...

Mike Anderson and Mary Culbertson, KSL TV

‘Sacrifices’ will need to be made from Bear River water supply to help Great Salt Lake

With the Bear River serving so many different purposes in the state of Utah, agricultural producers are trying to make sure their uses for the river aren't forgotten as lawmakers discuss the preservation of the Great Salt Lake.

4 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

5-year-old cancer patient sworn in to Unified Fire Authority