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Avaya to Present First Kari's Law 911 Trailblazer Award to Texas CSEC

Date: 2017-09-12
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Avaya, a global market leader in contact center solutions and a major provider of communications technology to public safety dispatch centers, has announced that it will present the inaugural Kari’s Law 911 Trailblazer Award to the Texas Commission on State Emergency Communications (CSEC). The award will be presented on September 27 at the Real-Time Communications Conference, hosted by the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), an industry think tank for Next Generation 9-1-1 activities.

The Kari’s Law 911 Trailblazer Award was created by Avaya to recognize the efforts of industry leaders who have transformed public safety best practices through the adoption of Kari’s Law. The Award is in honor of Kari Hunt, a 31-year old mother of three who was killed by her ex-husband while their oldest daughter frantically and unsuccessfully tried dialing 9-1-1 from the phone in their hotel room. That phone system was programmed to require a caller to dial 9 before getting any outside line, including for emergency assistance. The tragedy inspired Kari’s father, Hank Hunt, to raise a Change.Org petition, securing more than 650,000 signatures in support of a law requiring hotels to allow callers to reach 911 emergency services without having to dial an additional digit such as “9.”

The Texas CSEC was selected this year by Fletcher and Hunt for its role in orchestrating the many resources in Texas in support of Kari’s Law, which was enacted May 15, 2015. CSEC’s commitment and support included statewide workshops support to organizations such as the 911 Industry Alliance (which was responsible for drafting much of the legislative language in Texas) and providing guidance through the legislative process.

With the passage and implementation of Kari’s Law in Texas, multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) used in commercial businesses, schools and government facilities in the state are now required to provide direct-dial access to 9-1-1 without having to first dial an additional digit to get an outside line. Critical on-site notification must also be deployed when available. All MLTS operators must now be compliant. Under the Texas law, those who are not must file for a financial hardship waiver by September 1 each year, documenting their attempts to become compliant and registering their telephone system make and model number.

Similar laws have been passed around the country, including Suffolk County, NY on Long Island, the five Boroughs of New York City, and the states of Maryland, Tennessee, Maine, and Oklahoma. Kari’s Law legislation was also passed unanimously by the U.S. Senate last month, following a 408-0 vote by the House of Representatives on January 23, 2017. The two versions must now be reconciled.

Avaya offers mission critical services in a resilient, reliable and secure environment to Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) around the world. In collaboration with the European Emergency Number Association in Brussels, and the National Emergency Number Association in the United States, Avaya is helping replace the many legacy first responder systems developed and deployed in the 1960s and 1970s to better connect the more than 6,000 9-1-1 centers across the United States and transform how first responders save lives. For more information, please visit www.avaya.com.

- Corporate News/9-1-1magazine.com (via Avaya, 9/6/17)

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