Compliance with Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act

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written by craig beam posted on June 22, 2021

Emergency phone calls require a robust transfer strategy if there is going to be an adequate response to said phone calls. In 2019, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) enacted two federal laws that strengthen emergency calling: Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act.

These statutes, as it pertains to multi-line telephone systems, majorly concern the chain of survival. Specifically, these were enacted in response to the inherent need to improve the methods of managing emergency calls received from users who use cellular telecommunication systems operated within institutions. Overall, these laws are meant to facilitate proxy on-call assistance in which the victim or those closest to them seek out cooperation of ambulance personnel and even hospital admissions when there is an emergency within a premise with an MLTS.

Kari’s Law- Direct Dialing and Notification for MLTS

Named in honor of Kari Hunt, a victim of domestic violence in Marshal Texas, Kari’s Law directs that all 911 calls are to be directly connected to enforcement agencies even when they are dialed from multi-line telephone systems (MLTS). Notably, these phone systems are found in office buildings or hotels. The law, which took effect on February 16, 2020, requires that the telephone systems in these facilities be reconfigured to notify a central location on-site or off-site where the relevant authority can see or hear the notification.

At the premise of Kari’s Law is the rule that there is no need for an extra nine as a prefix when dialing 911. This is in response to the incident in which Kari’s 9-year-old daughter could not reach emergency services because she was unaware that she had to dial a nine before she could effectively contact emergency service providers. Additionally, a notification is necessitated for the security official or building administrator of an MLTS. They can then efficiently dispatch assistance to the individual who had to send the emergency alert.

Ray Baum’s Act- Dispatchable Locations for MLTS

At the tenet of the Ray Baum’s Act is the premise that a dispatchable location is to be sent every time, primarily through an MLTS phone. If a dispatch location was not relayed, the individual operating the front desk, for instance, is mandated to forward this location to the emergency service provider manually.

Application of Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act

Any large-scale enterprise is bound by the law to apply Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act. These will often be institutions that utilize MLTS, including offices, colleges, and public schools. Additionally, companies that provide MLTS, including Telecoms and VoIP companies, are mandated to inform their clients of their responsibility to act on any emergency notification that reaches their dashboard through email, text, or call notification.

Having access to the precise location of the caller revolutionizes the dispatch of emergency callers. First responders are easily able to focus their efforts on getting to the scene of the emergency calls, thus ensuring that no lives are lost.

Notably, while they pertain to the Emergency Communications Center (ECC), these statutes work in liaison with other public safety agencies, specifically the RapidSOS, to ensure the caller is found within the shortest time possible.

Overall, Kari’s Law is expected to ensure that everyone dialing 911 is guaranteed fast and effective response. On the other hand, Ray Baum’s Act is likely to ensure that anyone who dials this emergency number is found. These two statuses take into account any individual who dials the emergency numbers while using a landline phone. They are advantageous in that even when the caller does not know their location or is unable to relay this information verbally; they can be easily found.

Compliance Checklist

Notably, the Commission’s compliance date for both of these statutes was February 16, 2020. This meant that the rules mentioned above were applied to MLTS manufactured, imported, sold, or leased by said date.

Thus, as a business, you should have integrated the expected mandates to ensure that you adhere to this modern law within the public safety industry. To check your compliance, you need to ensure that your current 911 infrastructure notifies all relevant authorities when a 911 call is made from your premises. Additionally, the infrastructure in place should provide the precise location of the device used to make the 911 call. Overall, you should have updated your infrastructure to the point to which there is no need for a prefix 9 when you dial 911.

As part of Ray Baum’s Act compliance, your checklist should include the provision that your PBX can send a location to the relevant 911 respondents. Additionally, the infrastructure should provide additional information within a reasonable amount of time to both the responding parties and the on-site individual. As an administrator, you need to check on whether multiple parties or buildings within your location are attached to a single address, thus impeding the effective dispatch of emergency services. Central to this question is the need to ensure that you have a mechanism in place that consistently updates the address information within your location to ensure that the emergency personnel can find the caller within the shortest time possible.

Finally, as part of your compliance checklist, ensure that all your PBX devices are sufficiently updated and that each can transmit the accurate location of each of the calls made within your premise. Additionally, you require MLTS installers who are adequate to automatically install systems that are sufficiently configured and programmed to dispatch location as mandated by the laws mentioned above. As part of this compliance, you will also need managers and operators who can operate your system in a manner that dispatches your location to the PSAP with the 911 call.

Relevant situational information is central to the proper application of both Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act. We are dedicated to stepping in, especially when you do not have Level5 VoIP business phones. MicroXpress has invested in being the best partner for small and mid-sized businesses that fall under the MLTS domains. We invite you to call MicroXpress with any questions or concerns you may have with your existing phone systems.

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