A new smartphone app being used by Atlantic County fire departments is making alerts, and subsequent response to fires and other emergencies, faster and more efficient.

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It's called Spotted Dog, an app fire company members carry with them wherever they go. Linwood fire chief Charles Kisby said an alert can go out to all firefighters in the unit simultaneously, and the app allows them to all respond immediately.

"That way, the duty man can look at that before he leaves the firehouse, and he has a pretty good idea of who is responding to the fire," Kisby said.

Spotted Dog also indicates precisely where the fire is, and even shows the whereabouts of fire hydrants in close proximity to that location.

There are 13 fire companies currently using the app to alert their members in Atlantic County. One firefighter said that when there is a fire, members of a company are always looking to see when fellow members will arrive to help out. He said this app takes away the mystery of when more personnel will get to the scene.

Spotted Dog costs a fire company about $300 per year to operate. Atlantic County coordinates the service through its fire dispatch system.