More schools across the country are rolling out smartphone applications that act as "panic buttons" for shootings or other emergencies. 

The Daily Herald reports the Everett and Monroe school districts in Washington have gone live with the apps designed to more efficiently contact 911.

Officials say panic buttons help cut down on the time it takes first responders and law enforcement to handle school emergencies by providing information before they get to campus.

When the app is activated it connects the school employee to a 911 operator and instantly transmits the caller's location. Text messages are simultaneously sent about the situation to administrators, teachers, staff, police and first responders.

The app lets users select different buttons for five situations: medical, fire, police, active shooter and 911 other.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.