There have been quite a few topics that have trailed off into talk about Kari’s Law and Ray Baum’s Act so let’s do it here. It also seems that the focus is mainly on the notifications part, which while its grey area-ish, it is the one part that has the more leniency compared to the rest. So let’s cover some things.
Station = Endpoint/Phone/Device that dials.
- Anyone must be able to pick up a phone and dial 9-1-1 without any prefixes or special codes to initiate the call. This is supported in FreePBX.
What this means: The installer/maintainer must program the PBX to support this.
- 9-1-1 must be routed to a 24/7 staffed destination. This does not require the destination to be the PSAP.
What this means:If you have, let’s say, a Health & Safety station that is staffed 24/7 with first aid responders, 9-1-1 can be set to ring their station(s) as long as a live person answers the calls. It cannot go to voicemail or another alternate automated destination.
- Stations must present their detailed location information when 9-1-1 is dialed. This is regardless of an internal (as in item 2) or external (PSAP) destination. There are caveats to this such as Residential houses regardless of levels and small single level buildings can present a general location for 9-1-1.
What this means: As the installer/maintainer you must make sure that each extension in FreePBX has the Emergency CallerID field set to show the proper station details. This could just be the default station CallerID or a unique DID. FreePBX supports either.
- The presented CallerID must be a valid dialable number that can receive call backs.
What this means: When 9-1-1 is dialed and the CallerID is presented, internal or external, the destination answering must be able to return a call to the caller if they are disconnected for any reason. So if the call is going to a PSAP then the number presented must be routable back to the caller.
- Outbound/Internal only stations, i.e. they don’t receive inbound calls or have no ability to call the PSTN, must still support dialing 9-1-1, present the station CallerID location and be able to receive an inbound call for 9-1-1 purposes.
The above items cover what is known as the “Dispatchable Location” and new installs will require this after Feb 16th 2020. Most current PBXes support these abilities, including FreePBX, which is why these items are the onus of the installer/maintainer. So if for some reason you are installing a PBX system that can’t support this, you need to stop installing that PBX system.
Now in regards to the notifications, as the installer/maintainer there is zero expectation/requirement for you to modify the PBX hardware/software to support notifications. Kari’s Law puts the onus of that on the makers of the PBX that new systems they introduce to the market after Feb 16th 2020 must support notifications.
While all that is happening there is now Ray Baum’s Act that states existing systems must comply with Kari’s Law with 1-2 years of Kari’s Law being signed into law (so Dec 2019 which means at the latest Dec 2021). They figure that is enough time for businesses to come into compliance.