If we have an emergency at our place of work, our expectation is to be able to dial 9-1-1 from whatever device we may be using and to connect to a dispatcher. Not only do we expect this connection, we expect the call will yield an efficient and accurate response.
However, many companies have been relying on their employees NOT dialing 9-1-1 from specific devices. By handing out stickers to affix to employee devices that caution against dialing 9-1-1, companies have been able to remain within legal boundaries. The stickers have printed statements such as, “Emergency 911 service using this device may be limited,” or “In case of an emergency 911 CANNOT be dialed from this phone,” or “Be sure you have an alternate means of contacting 911”.
In a time of crisis, a person is not going to have the wherewithal to procure an alternative method of dialing 9-1-1. They may not be able to move, or speak to alert someone else to dial 9-1-1 for them. In fact, the device they are dialing from may very well be the only device the workplace has provided for them.
9-1-1 limitations grew as companies began trending toward mobility and migrating to cloud-based communications. While businesses favor VoIP phones because of price point, portability, and enhanced features, the lack of adequate access to emergency calling began to pose a real threat to employees who use these systems. Specifically, inaccurate location determination of VoIP phones, in addition to unforeseen power or internet outages is why certain companies opted for the sticker. It began as a way to keep employees aware. However, in the wake of sophisticated E911 technological advances, opting for a sticker as your emergency preparedness plan seems negligent.
The FCC determined that advising your employees against dialing 9-1-1 is not only wrong, but should be illegal. Their recently adopted regulations make sure this sticker loophole is no longer a viable option for companies to fall back on. With E911 solutions that solve every problem the sticker highlights, simply cautioning your employees from dialing 9-1-1 from certain devices is no longer good enough.
The FCC has made it clear in their recent Report and Order that companies now have a responsibility to provide their employees with direct access to 9-1-1, as well as to automatically provide the PSAP with a “dispatchable location” in order to find the caller more effectively. If a device can place outbound calls, that same device needs to be able to call 9-1-1, and must provide the PSAP with automatic location information.
Companies that still choose to rely on these stickers are, in essence, telling their employees they do not care enough to implement a solution that would provide employees direct dialing to 9-1-1, as well as provide the PSAP accurate location information of the caller. These solutions exist, and RedSky has been a leader in providing them to the enterprise for over twenty years.
RedSky specializes in both on-premise and cloud-based E911. Our solutions automatically FIND your devices, ROUTE 9-1-1 calls to the correct PSAP, and NOTIFY the proper security personnel that an emergency call is in progress. With RedSky, your enterprise will be compliant with all the FCC's new regulations, both under Kari's Law and RAY BAUM's Act. If you have any questions about E911 for your enterprise, or about the FCC's new Report and Order please contact us. We are here to make E911 easy.