The story behind Kari’s Law
On December 1st, 2013, Kari Hunt Dunn was stabbed by her estranged husband in front of her three children in a Texas hotel room.
In the midst of this devastating event, Kari’s nine-year-old daughter attempted to dial 911 multiple times from the phone in the room and was unable to get through. Not because the line was busy, but rather that the phone system was not designed to call 911 directly without first dialing “9” for an outside line.
Her daughter was unaware that a prefix was required and tragically, Kari passed away from her injuries. One button stood in the way of Kari receiving the help that she needed. This may have been common knowledge to someone who works in an office or professional setting. To a young girl however, it was one small action that prevented the help she needed from getting there sooner.
Shortly after her passing, Kari’s father, Hank Hunt, pushed an initiative to require MLTS to eliminate the need to dial a prefix regardless of location or system. As a result, Congress and President Trump unanimously passed Kari’s Law on February 16th, 2018.
So how will industries be impacted since signed into law in the United States?
Who will be affected?
Hotels, hospitals and doctors’ offices are the most obvious areas where compliance is a must. The fact of the matter is that all businesses should and will have to either upgrade their current phone system or adopt an entirely new one.
All offices will have to be prepared for Feb 16th in one way or another considering that an incident can occur anywhere at any time. While the chances of accident occurring may seem significantly less, it only takes one.
It’s a public safety issue that can damage your business’s reputation and its finances. Should an incident occur, and you were to be found in direct violation of Federal Law, your organization can face up to $10,000 in fines and up to $500 per day that you remain non-compliant.
On Another Note
Service Providers of VoIP and Unified Communications in 23 states must abide by the E911 legislation. This means that the contact information and geographical location required for medical personnel and the authorities is correct and can be delivered to the dispatcher.
Further information, such as the exact floor or room could also be relayed. Providers should take the time to program everything correctly and to help educate the staff on how to properly use the equipment and information in the event of an emergency. Not only as standard customer service, but also to drastically increase the chances of saving lives.
Real Life Example
A client of ours recently emailed our Senior Tech regarding an experience that they had with 911 calling and their phone system. An employee there had accidently called 911 while attempting to dial an extension and upon their first reaction, hung up. The dispatcher attempted to call back from the information provided to assess the situation but was unable to reach them after a few attempts.
As a result, local patrol units were sent to the location where the unsuspecting employees then explained the error. The 911 dispatcher would not have had to send law enforcement had they been able to call them back with the right phone number. It turns out that their carrier had input the wrong information into the system and a call to a non-working number was sent out.
Luckily in this case, no harm was done. Had the situation been different, our client could have faced a fine for what happened. Not to mention the fact that help was potentially taken away from someone who could have used it.
How can this be prevented?
It’s important to make sure that the information that will be sent to the authorities is correct and up to date in the event of an emergency. Had there been a real issue that required police presence or medical help, any delay or confusion could end up making all the difference.
Check with your carrier and/or service providers to ensure that your information is correct and that everything is working properly. You can also take it upon yourself to call your local police department and test out calling 911. Give them a call first and notify them that you will be testing your equipment and that it is indeed not an emergency.
This should also not only be a one-time deal. Periodically run tests on your 911 calling capabilities to ensure that everything is up to date and working properly. It will provide your organization with peace of mind in knowing that you’re prepared in the event of an emergency.
It’s one of those things that are easy to ignore or to put off for another time. It’s best to get ahead of the game now, you will thank yourselves in the event that something was to happen.
A Noble Cause
The purpose of the bill and the efforts of Kari’s father were to ensure that nobody will ever be placed in a similar situation again. MLTS must be equipped by default to reach the authorities and/or medical attention right away to avoid another incident like the tragedy his daughter had faced. His bravery and determination may save countless lives for years to come by pushing this initiative.
By February 16th, 2020, hospitals, doctors’ offices, nursing homes, etc. will be better equipped in the event of an emergency. The date is quickly approaching, and action must be taken well in advance to prepare for the new law.
Allied Communications will help support any upgrades or hardware installation required to meet the deadline.
A Trusted Partner
With 20+ years in the telecommunications industry, Allied’s knowledgeable and experienced team of technicians will help your business get up to speed. We have access to the latest and greatest technology that is equipped to meet Kari’s Law standards while improving the efficiency of your business. All installations on our behalf are guaranteed to be in compliance with Kari’s law.
As a provider of voice and data solutions, it’s our responsibility to provide the best experience for our customers. Installing, managing or operating solutions that are safe and reliable is something that we take a tremendous amount of pride in.
We are fully aware that our systems can and will be used in the event of an emergency. We will always make sure that we are providing the highest quality of products that meet your needs while also ensuring that all laws and regulations are being met in the process.
Contact us today to find out more about how we can help support your business with Kari’s Law-compliant hardware/software and prepare your business for February 16, 2020 and beyond!