As you know, the world we live in is constantly changing and evolving, and it is imperative that we can adapt to and overcome these changes. Have you ever found yourself, or a loved one, in need of Emergency Services? What was the first thing you thought about doing? Who was the first person you contacted? What number did you dial? If this event were life-threatening, chances are the number you dialed was 9-1-1.
Worst Case Scenario
Imagine this! The same life-threatening scenario happens while you’re at work, but after dialing 9-1-1 from your desk phone, you hear “Your call cannot be completed as dialed. Please consult your directory and try the call again”. Instant panic sets in!
Believe it or not, this is exactly what happened to the 9-year-old daughter of Kari Hunt Dunn, as she did not know that a prefix of “9” was required to reach an outside line or emergency services. As a result, emergency services were unable to be reached, and Kari Hunt Dunn tragically lost her life.
As a result of this tragic incident, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) drafted Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act in order to resolve challenges and flaws when it comes to dialing 9-1-1.
What is Kari's Law and Ray Baum's Act?
Kari’s Law was signed back in 2018, and the law officially took effect on January 6, 2020. This law requires that when using an enterprise multi-line telephone system (MLTS), such as those in office buildings, hotels, etc., users can dial 9-1-1 directly. The use of prefix codes are optionally allowed; however, 911 must be able to be dialed directly.
Additionally, 911 calls must be routed to the nearest Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and notify a secondary party inside the enterprise that an emergency call is in progress. The notification must indicate that an emergency call is active, include a valid callback number, and provide the caller’s location to the PSAP. Specifically, the Ray Baum’s Act explicitly requires that the location provided is a “Dispatchable Location” which includes the street address, building number, floor number, room number, or additional information required to appropriately identify the location of the caller.
Complying with Kari's Law and Ray Baum's Act
Compliance with these laws should be a critical priority for your business. The bottom line is... it's the law!
Meeting the first requirement of Kari’s Law, which is ensuring users can dial 911 directly, is configurable by your PBX or VoIP Administrator. Simply configure the 911 dialing pattern and perform a test. Regarding the notification requirement, this is where Cisco Emergency Responder (CER) is the easy solution for an existing Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) deployment. CER monitors phones and users within CUCM and provides E911 call treatment. CER also provides local and remote notification via a phone call, email, or text message.
Ray Baum’s act requires that the PBX can convey the device’s physical location in order to achieve compliance. This is also achieved using CER, which automatically tracks the phone’s location and user assigned. For example, if a phone were to be moved from the 2nd floor to the 15th floor of an office building, Cisco Emergency Responder tracks this phone move and automatically updates the location when the phone is registered on the 15th floor.
Every Second Counts!
When it comes to compliance with these laws, every second counts! A life-saving emergency call, utilizing your company's telephony environment, could be placed at any moment! Don’t hesitate to reach out to Covene for any of your Information Technology needs using the link below!