The Latest FCC 911 Laws

It is common practice today to protect our schools and public buildings through legislation such as Kari’s Law, requiring the direct dial of 911 from telephone devices and the on-site reporting of the emergency call to staff, and the Ray Baum's Act requiring a dispatchable location be sent to public safety in an emergency.

Alyssa’s Law is also now in effect in Florida and New Jersey, requiring mobile ‘panic buttons’ specifically in schools that can provide critical situational awareness direct to public safety in the event of an emergency.

What is Kari's Law & Ray Baum's Act?

Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act are two FCC statutes will make it easier for callers to reach 911 and for emergency services to locate callers in a large facility like an office building, hotel or university campus.

Facilities with multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) provide challenges in getting help from 911, such as:

1) Securing an outside line, since MLTS often require callers to dial a number or code before placing calls.

2) Providing accurate information about the caller’s location within the campus.

Kari’s Law Requirements

1.Does your current 911 infrastructure notify relevant parties that an emergency call has been made via an organization provided PBX phone?

2. Does your current 911notification provide the location of the device that dialed 911?

3. Does your current 911 infrastructure allow for 911 calls to be places without requiring them to dial 9 first then the number?

Ray Baum’s Act

4. When you dial 911 from your business phone, do you send the building address with the call through the 911 network?

5. When you dial 911 from your business phone, do you send additional information that allows the calling party to be located in a reasonable amount of time to the PSAP and on-site individuals.

6. Does your organization contain multiple buildings or buildings with multiple floors that are listed under one address?

If you answered “YES” to the question above:

6.1 Do you provide this additional location data (i.e. building, floor, zone) with the 911 calls?

6.2 Can the level of location detail you provide allow you and/or first responders the ability to find the caller in a reasonable amount of time?

7. Do you have a way of updating associated device locations in the 911 records when the devices are moved?

8. Do you have a mechanism for knowing when devices move throughout the network so that the associated 911 records can be updated?

9. If you have employees working from home who are using a softphone on a laptop or a hardware IP or SIP phone, are you currently provisioning their location data to the 911 database?

10. If you have employees that travel frequently and using a softphone on a laptop or a hardware IP or SIP phone, are you currently provisioning their location data to the 911 database?

Alyssa's Law

The Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida took the lives of 17 people children, and school staff members.

One of these victims, 14-year-old Alyssa Alhadeff, inspired a law, known as Alyssa’s Law.

Alyssa’s Law is critical legislation addressing the installation of silent panic alarms that are directly linked to law enforcement, so in case of any emergency they will get on the scene as quickly as possible, take down a threat and triage any victims.

Alyssa Law in Texas

Alyssa’s Law will require Texas schools to implement an emergency alert system that prepares, prevents, and protects children and staff in the event that an act of mass violence occurs.

Emergency Response Applications Must Include:

Administrative Access to Critical Information

Silent Panic Alarm System

Real-Time Communication Between First Responders

2-Way Communication with Users

Speaking of Silent Panic Alarms...

What is Next Generation 911?

Next Generation 911 (commonly referred to as NG911) is a digital, internet protocol (IP)-based system that will replace the analog 911 infrastructure that’s been in place for decades.

The success and reliability of 911 will be greatly improved with the implementation of NG911, as it will enhance emergency number services to create a faster, more resilient system that allows voice, photos, videos and text messages to flow seamlessly from the public to the 911 network.

NG911 will also improve public safety answering points’ ability to help manage call overload, natural disasters and transfer of 911 calls based on caller location data. Because most 911 systems were originally built using analog rather than digital technologies, literally all the PSAPs across the country need to be upgraded to NG911.

While the technology to implement these new IP-based 911 systems is available, the transition to NG911 involves much more than just new computer hardware and software. Implementing NG911 in states and counties nationwide will require the coordination of a variety of emergency communication, public safety, legislative and governing entities.

NG911 Progress Across the U.S. Many states and localities are planning for and making the transition to NG911 now. In Phase I, the 911 software provides the civic address of the nearest cell tower or the coordinates of the cell sector centroid.

The Phase I location is typically not a “dispatchable location,” meaning it cannot reliably be used on its own to dispatch emergency responders.

Phase II location utilizes GPS, which is often very accurate in outdoor environments with a clear line of sight to a satellite, but can have limitations in dense urban settings or indoors.

Often, Phase II location falls back to cell tower triangulation which is much less accurate.

The greatest challenge for emergency responders is that Phase II location typically takes 30 seconds or more to arrive – precious time in an emergency.

Annually, the National 911 Program collaborates with 911 associations to gather the most recent information about nationwide progress toward NG911. The 911 Profile Database includes the latest self-reported data from U.S. states on their progress toward NG911.

The National 911 Program