PORTLAND -- Still bandaged from skin grafts, 7-year-old Eliceo Lopez Soto was about to meet the paramedic who helped save his life.
The shy Aloha boy was severely burned on Easter Sunday after his mother mistakenly grabbed a can of model engine fuel to ignite a barbecue grill.
Hillsboro firefighter Eric Keim was the paramedic in charge on that day.
"I'm incredibly humbled to be a part of a team and to be recognized as an individual, there were tons of people involved," said Keim.
On Sunday morning, Keim was rewarded for his heroics with a ride aboard an F-16 fighter jet.
Eliceo's older brother Zuri was actually the first to respond by using a garden hose to put out the flames engulfing his brother. Then he called 911.
"I thought the fire was on his shirt, but when i saw his face he was already purple," said Zuri.
Eliceo's airway was so badly burned, paramedic Keim had to cut the boy's throat so he could breath again. During all this Zuri kept his brother calm.
During his ride with the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds, Keim must have tapped into Eliceo's courage. He pulled more than 9 G's and managed to keep down his breakfast.
"Wow it's so much more intense than I ever imagined," said Keim as he stepped from the cockpit after his ride of a lifetime.
Eliceo and his family greeted the firefighter on the tarmac.
"Hi Eliceo, I'm so happy you're doing so good buddy," said Keim.
Eliceo said he has no interest in flying on a supersonic jet; however, he did have something very important to share with the firefighter who did.
"Thank you," said Eliceo.
"Oh my, this story is really all about Eliceo and he is the true hero going through what he did. I just played a very small role in all of it," said a very humble Keim.