Dispatches > Quick Takes

Quick Takes

"Quick Takes" Continued...

Issue: "Upside down," April 9, 2011

Always on call

Forget Angry Birds and iBeer, a group of firefighters in California may have figured out how to create an actual life-saving iPhone app. Hoping to marshal the power of the iPhone's growing ubiquity, firefighters in the San Ramon Valley Fire Protection District created an app called "Fire Department," which sends iPhone notifications to subscribed CPR specialists who may be able to walk to an emergency scene before the actual fire department can arrive. Citizens who have been trained in CPR will receive an alert on their iPhone if someone requires CPR within their immediate vicinity. "If you're at Starbucks and next door at the deli somebody goes down, you're getting a notification," fire department spokesman Kimberly French told the website, GovTech.com. "You're that close to the person needing the assistance."

Guard gator

Authorities in California were surprised to find not a guard dog protecting an illegal marijuana-growing operation but rather something more scaly. Federal agents raided a home in Hemet, Calif., on March 9 only to find a guard alligator doing a bad job of watching over nearly 2,300 marijuana plants valued at over $1.5 million. Rather than protecting the plants, Wally, the 55-pound gator, watched the raid from an impromptu bathtub made from a cement mixer. Authorities say that while Wally didn't inhibit officers from conducting the sting, he was apparently well cared for and healthy. News organizations noted that the 29-year-old suspect behind the marijuana farm could be prosecuted for harboring an alligator-illegal in California-in addition to facing drug charges.

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