Hats off to Williston fire and rescue

3-year-old gets head stuck in toy container

By Ben Moger-Williams
Observer staff

Nicholas Gigliotti is really into hats. He’s so into hats, in fact, that he couldn’t get himself out of one last Wednesday.

The Williston 3-year-old and a friend were playing with a birthday present, a tin of wooden building blocks, when he decided to take the toy to another level.

“I was in the same room, but I had my back turned,” said Nicholas’ mother, Laura. “He said ‘look, Mommy, I have a hat.’”

When she turned around, she found that Nicholas had put the tin that contained the toy blocks onto his head.

“I said, ‘that’s a great hat, Nick, but let’s try to get it off,’” Gigliotti said.

When she tried to get the container off her son’s head, she found it was stuck. Each time she tried to pull it off, Nicholas started to get upset, she said.

Concerned that the canister was squeezing his head, she called 911. The dispatcher recommended using soap or oil to try and slide it off, but that didn’t work, she said.

Eventually Williston rescue personnel were dispatched to the home, and Gigilotti and Nicholas went out to wait for the fire trucks to arrive.

She said the rescue team used a type of special shears to cut the metal tin off of Nicholas’ head.

“It was very thick metal,” she said. “But they did get it off, then he burst into tears. Then he got it together and went out to look at the fire trucks.”

Williston firefighters showed Nicholas around the fire trucks and presented him with a new teddy bear.

The entire ordeal was scary, Gigliotti said, but Nicholas is fine. She said he has even joked about the incident with his 6-year-old sister, saying “Sophia, I had a bucket on my head.”

Gigliotti hopes Nicholas has learned his lesson about putting things on his head, but she’s not taking any chances.

“Now I am sort of looking all over the house, saying ‘what else could he get in to?’” she said. “He’s got this thing about hats, but I don’t think we have anything else.”