Four FDNY firefighters recently launched ManDown, a personnel-tracking mobile app for smartphones. ManDown sends automatic emergency alerts via text, e-mail and voice messages to a person's contact list.

The ManDown app is named for an emergency situation when there is a man down — when a firefighter is missing, trapped or injured inside a burning building, said Tom Watson, founding partner of ManDown.

Watson said personnel felt there was a need for an accountability app to improve firefighter safety at an incident scene. The Holy Grail was a technology that could track firefighters indoors, he said — especially when localized audible PASS alarms fail or when firefighters are knocked unconscious and unable to radio a mayday call.

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