Kari’s Law and Section 506 of RAY BAUM’s Act deal with dialing 911 from a multi-line phone system. There are two components
Kari’s Law which goes into effect February 16, 2020 focuses on ensuring that end-users have the ability to make calls to 911 in business or campus environments while notifying the business of the emergency. Section 506 of RAY BAUMS Act is concerned with the quality of the information that’s sent to public safety operators when the call is made. Together, they’re about providing better, faster, more reliable access to emergency responders.
Any ideas on how to implement this in VitalPBX?
More specifically the reporting to the front office feature, and making sure that the right info is sent to the 911 system.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer, and this is as far as I understand these new regulations - please correct me if I am wrong.
As far as I am aware, the law went into effect on the date you mentioned, but you don't have to be compliant until sometime in 2021.
So there's three new laws. 1) Being able to dial 911 easily. 2) The caller's location must be identified easily by the onsite individuals and/or by the 911 dispatch center. 3) 911 callbacks - see below.
If you have a 24/7 emergency team onsite, you are allowed to route internal 911 calls to that team, but when they dial 911 it has to go directly to a 911 dispatch center. And of course, if that onsite team does not answer after 1-2 rings, the call should be routed to a 911 dispatch center.
If you don't have a 24/7 emergency team onsite, every 911 call can/should notify the front desk/reception either by audio or visual alert. When they are notified, they must be able to see/know the caller's exact location.
When 911 calls back, they must be routed to either the caller, or to the front desk who should already be aware of the outgoing call that was placed, the incident nature, the exact location etc.
Now regarding your first point and what I mentioned as the first law: Vital PBX has an emergency module which allows you to specify emergency numbers you want to be able to place from every phone. So you would specify there 911, 9911, 8911 or any prefix you think people might dial followed by 911.
Then in your Trunk under the dial manipulation tab you can remove these prefixes and allow the call to be processed normally.
Regarding the second law, here's where it starts to get a little complicated.
So let's say that if you have a onsite emergency team and they have a map or know by heart all the extensions and their locations, then you are good. But what if you use the hot desking feature? or what if you use a PJSIP extension with multiple contacts?
Same applies when you are sending calls to a 911 dispatch center. Let's say you have building A, B, C, & a home user. So normally you would be all set by setting up 4 e911 DIDs and setup each extension's emergency number with their building's e911 DID. But here again, what happens when you have users who are rotating between the buildings using hot desking, or PJSIP extension with multiple contacts? How do you set the proper e911 CID?
I think, that the best would be, if we can somehow associate an Emergency Number with a MAC address, or maybe set the emergency caller ID based on the device's IP address.
And regarding the front notification, it would be cool if we can setup a emergency call/page for each Emergency Number, so it calls the proper building's front desk and let's say allowing them to listen in or maybe barge in.
Or maybe a visual and audio alert in Sonata.
Finally, regarding callback: I would suggest everyone to use a dedicated DID(s) for Emergency Caller ID. Why? read carefully: There's some sort of a similar feature currently in Vital PBX which allows certain numbers to be routed to the person who spoke last with them. Maybe VitalPBX can implement an option to setup that when 911 calls back this dedicated DID it checks if anyone called 911 in the last 15 minutes and routes the call to the extension who called, otherwise it routes the call to the front desk. Now, one would ask why would I need a dedicated DID? That's because most of the times you won't know from which Caller ID 911 will call you, so instead of setting up such a feature on 911's Caller ID, you set it up on your DID.
Again, Callback might be very different for everyone. If you have tiny office you'd probably want it to ring to everyone, if you have a couple of buildings you are required to send it to someone who is aware of the situation etc.
I already spoke to some of the awsome VitalPBX team about these new laws, but I don't have any further information or if there's any plans.
And again, the first part which is the most crucial of allowing every phone to dial 911 even with a prefix is currently doable in VitalPBX.
I think that feedback regrading this matter will be appreciated, so anyone with ideas how to implement this, please speak up.