Have you heard of Kari Dunn? She became famous for the worst reason. She was an East Texas mother who tragically died at a motel because her nine-year-old daughter did not know she had to dial a prefix of "9" to get an outside line to reach 911. That tragedy moved the government to pass the "Kari's Law" and "Ray Baum's Act" to promote public safety.
These laws were signed in 2018 and went into effect on the following dates:
• Kari's Law – February 16, 2020
• Ray Baum's Act – January 5, 2020
Kari's Law and Ray Baum's Act remove obstacles and provide additional protections to anyone needing to reach 911 emergency services.
The laws require:
1. Dial 911 directly with no prefix.
2. Emergency calls go directly to the nearest 911 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) with a dispatchable location.
3. Notify an internal party that an emergency call is being made, with external notification being optional.
Companies need to be aware of these laws because they place a legal requirement on the business to comply. Contacting legal counsel is always recommended for exact compliance requirements and liability exposure.
However, more than just complying with the laws, all companies want to provide a safe environment. In the case of an emergency, information is needed in the hands of first responders and safety personnel as fast as possible.
Cisco and its partners have several options to assist in making its communications systems compliant and going beyond to provide a safe environment:
Cisco Emergency Responder (CER)
Cisco Emergency Responder (CER) helps ensure that Cisco Unified Communications Manager sends emergency calls to the correct Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) for a user's location. CER tracks the location of phones and users in its database. It helps the PSAP identify the location of the caller and return the call if necessary. It will send local onsite notifications for emergency 911 calls in progress. The Cisco Collaboration Flex plan includes CER and is a cost-effective way to get access to this solution.
Singlewire InformaCast Fusion
One part of providing a safe environment is to quickly notify users to "shelter in place" or evacuate. Singlewire InformaCast Fusion is a robust cloud notification platform that can integrate with Cisco phones, mobile devices, overhead speakers, signage, and much more. This platform can be part of an emergency notification overall solution.
RedSky E911 Anywhere
RedSky E911 Anywhere is a cloud solution that offers E911 routing for remote, mobile, or home office workers. Redsky also offers E911 solutions for cloud communications systems like Cisco Webex Calling.
Have you conducted a review of your communications system yet?
We can help you determine if you’re compliant with these laws and suggest ways to offer increased safety to your employees with Cisco solutions. Feel free to schedule a call with someone from our team.
This post was contributed by Jeff Senger, Consulting Systems Engineer at Telcion.