What You Need to Know
Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act were signed in 2018 and affect emergency services communications. Kari’s Law applies to Multi-Line Telephone Systems (MLTS) commonly used in business, hospitality, service, government schools, colleges, and universities. Ray Baum’s Act requires additional location information when placing a call to 9-1-1.
In 2013, Kari Hunt of East Texas was killed in a hotel room by her estranged husband. Kari’s then nine-year-old daughter attempted to dial out from the hotel room several times, but she didn’t know that to do so from the hotel phone, she would first have to dial the number ‘9’ to make an outgoing call.
After Kari’s death, it was determined that in time between the attack on Kari and the time that help actually arrived, the paramedics likely would have been able to save her, had they been reached the first time Kari’s daughter tried to place a call.
Kari’s Law went into effect nationwide in Februrary of 2020 and it requires a Multi-Line Telephone System to be configured to dial 9-1-1 in three keystrokes and be connected to a 9-1-1 call center. In other words, an MLTS must enable users to dial 9-1-1 directly, without having to dial any additional digit, code, prefix, or post-fix, including any trunk-access code such as the digit ‘9’, to reach an outside line.
If you are a VIP customer, most, if not all, of VIP’s installed bases currently have this capability. If your organization’s system requires a “user” to dial a digit to acquire an outside line, however, please contact VIP and we will assist you with making any changes necessary to comply with this requirement.
To test your system:
Kari’s Law also requires that, when a 9-1-1 call is made, there must be some type of internal notification to a central location at the facility where the system is installed (e.g. an organization’s system administrator, safety director, executive operations manager, etc.), or to another person or organization regardless of the location, if the system is able to be configured to provide the notification without an improvement to the hardware or software of the system.
Ray Baum’s Act
Ray Baum’s Act was named in honor of the late Ray Baum, a small town lawyer who went on to serve in a number of public roles at the state and federal level. The Act became co-terminus with Kari’s law as the two are similar in nature.
Your company is urged to assess its geography and determine the appropriate level of detail that should be provided to the PSAP in connection with a 9-1-1 call.
Following that assessment, contact your telecommunications provider so that they may advise you on how to comply with the Ray Baum’s Act. Should you have any questions regarding the level of detail that should be provided for your organization’s location information, we strongly urge you to consult with your legal counsel.
The details of Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act can be reviewed here.
You can download the infographic here.