On Sunday, September 5, 2021, Patience Foster took her four-year-old son to Willits’s Noyo Theater to enjoy a screening of Paw Patrol. As to be expected, the perpetual squirming of a four-year-old during a feature film began immediately. Unexpectedly, the boy’s feet fell through the gap typical of a theater seat and became stuck. In a series of events “that you would think only happens on TV,” Willits Police Officers and Little Lake Firefighters responded and helped free the boy to go on about his day.
Foster told us she decided to take her son on his “first movie theater experience” and he was “having a hard time sitting still.” The spasmodic squirming resulted in the boy getting his “legs stuck under the chair.”
Paw Patrol, a film portraying K9s as law enforcement officers and firefighters, is beloved by the four-year-old, Foster told us. While officers and firefighters responded to the predicament, Foster asked her son, “Why would you want to see a dumb movie about police and fire dogs when you can see real police and firefighters right now?”
Quickly, Officer Angel of the Willits Police Department assisted by firefighters from the Little Lake Fire Department responded and freed the four-year-old. By the time he was released, Foster told us the film was ending, the audience applauded and in celebration of his freedom the boy “danced to the music at the end of the film” and they drove home to Ukiah.
Foster said all involved were very “patient and kind” including Noyo Theater staff member Dane Jennison. She regretted not knowing the firefighters named but noted all the first responders were “kind, quick, and fully masked.”
Foster’s four-year-old son not only learned a valuable lesson about the consequences of exuberant squirming but got a real-life introduction to the small-town heroes he admires. Foster told us her four-year-old has always wanted to be a firefighter inspired by her uncle who is currently a firefighter, an aunt who is a retired firefighter/EMT, and the Paw Patrol character he loves.