In 2013, Kari Rene Hunt was murdered by her estranged husband in a hotel room; when Kari’s 9-year-old daughter tried to dial 9-1-1 for help she could not reach emergency personnel because she did not dial “9” to reach an outside line
Bipartisan bill would require manufacturers of multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) to create systems that allow callers to reach 9-1-1 without dialing a prefix or postfix
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) and Deb Fischer (R-NE) have introduced bipartisan legislation that would make contacting emergency personnel simpler and easier. In 2013, Kari Rene Hunt of Marshall, Texas, was murdered by her estranged husband in a hotel room. When Kari’s 9-year-old daughter tried to dial 9-1-1 for help, she could not reach emergency personnel because she did not dial “9” to reach an outside line. Kari’s Law would require manufacturers of multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) to create systems that allow callers to reach 9-1-1 without dialing a prefix or postfix.
“We should be doing everything we can to make sure that contacting emergency personnel is as simple and easy as possible,” said Klobuchar. “This bipartisan bill will build on the progress already made by industry leaders and help ensure a tragedy like Kari’s never happens again.”
“It breaks my heart to know the terror and fear that raced through the mind of Kari’s young daughter Brianna as she desperately dialed 911 for help,” said Fischer. “This simple change could save many lives and make it easier for heroes like Brianna to call for help. A few precious seconds can mean the difference between life and death. Through this bill, we can save lives and ensure something like this never happens again.”
"If a 9 year old little girl is mature enough and brave enough to call 9-1-1 in a dangerous and deadly situation, she should be answered, " said Hank Hunt, Kari’s father.
“Americans need, and deserve, access to effective 9-1-1 service, regardless of where they are when an emergency strikes,” said Christy Williams, President of NENA: The 9-1-1 Association. “The ability to access trained 9-1-1 professionals from a college dorm, a factory, or a hotel, and to be found in your hour of need is key to the safety of the public and the security of our nation. NENA is thrilled that Senators Fischer and Klobuchar have introduced legislation to address the safety challenges posed by multi-line telephone systems.”
“The safety and security of our guests and employees is of utmost importance to the hotel industry, which is why AH&LA has worked aggressively to ensure that systems are in place for guests to directly dial 9-1-1 from guestrooms,” said Katherine Lugar, President and CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA). “We applaud Senators Klobuchar’s and Fischer’s leadership for introducing this critical legislation that provides a commonsense solution that does not burden small business and property owners, but accomplishes the goal of streamlining communication to emergency personnel. AH&LA has worked closely with our membership to implement 91-1 direct dial access and we will continue this work to ensure that hotel rooms around the country have this access. We look forward to working with Senators Klobuchar and Fischer to advance this important legislation.”
“Direct access to emergency services remains a core necessity in any communications environment,” said Mark J. Fletcher, Chief Architect Public Safety Solutions at Avaya, an MLTS vendor. “The ability to directly reach 9-1-1, while providing location awareness to public safety first responders and on-site personnel, is easily deployed in systems today. This bill will not only ensure direct access to critical emergency services from any device, it also extends the NENA framework for multi-line telephone systems to contribute additional information to the Next Generation 9-1-1 networks that are being deployed by state, county, and local governments today. I commend our legislators for their swift action in bringing Kari’s Law forward.”
This bill builds on the progress of industry leaders like the American Hotel and Lodging Association to ensure that anyone dialing 9-1-1 on any phone can reach emergency personnel and would be another step forward in making sure dialing 9-1-1 to reach emergency personnel is as simple and easy as possible.
Senators John Cornyn (R-TX), Brian Schatz (D-HI), and Ted Cruz (R-TX) are also original cosponsors of the legislation. Representatives Louie Gohmert (R-TX) and Mike Thompson (D-CA) have introduced a companion bill in the House.