The 9-1-1 Gala has been postponed.
Due to our region’s commitment to the health and safety of our telecommunicators and the role of our district as protectors of the community and with the recent announcement from the Ellis County Judge’s Office, we have determined that postponing the 9-1-1 Gala is our responsibility as a public safety entity.
We have yet to determine a date for the postponed event but we will update you as soon as possible. We apologize that this update comes so close to the event. We would appreciate it if you would share this news with your staff members who were planning on attending so that we may get the word out.
If you have any questions please contact:
9-1-1 Gala Planning Committee
In December of 2013, Kari Hunt Dunn was stabbed to death by her husband in a motel room in east Texas. Her 9-year-old daughter repeatedly tried dialing 9-1-1, but the motel phone required “9” to be dialed to reach any outside line, including emergency services. This event launched Kari’s Law, which requires all organizations or businesses that utilize a multi-line telephone system (MLTS) to provide direct access to 9-1-1. Businesses must become compliant by February 16, 2020, however the federal version of Kari’s Law only applies to MLTS that will be installed after this deadline. If your business is within the state of Texas, however, all MLTS must be compliant or require a waiver.
It is the responsibility of the business or organization utilizing the MLTS to maintain compliance. Texas was the first to pass a state version of this law, and compliance for all Texas organizations (or a waiver detailing why compliance) was required by September 1, 2016. If you’re struggling with next steps and how to become compliant to Kari’s Law, we can help. We’ll discuss what we learned in Texas over the past few years on our journey to compliance.
Find Out Your Current Status
Before you do anything, you have to know where you stand. Contact the provider of your MLTS and ask them how they’re set up to reach 9-1-1. Specific questions you can ask include:
- Do you offer direct access to 9-1-1?
- Is your service compliant with Kari’s Law?
- When did you become compliant? Or when will you become compliant?
- Have you tested your system to ensure direct access to 9-1-1 is available?
If your MLTS provider is already compliant, then your work is almost done. If you can’t get any of these questions answered, you can contact your local 9-1-1 authority for advice on next steps. NCT9-1-1 is your 9-1-1 authority if your business is in our service area, but if you’re not sure who your authority is you can contact your local police or sheriff’s office by their 10-digit emergency number.
Test Your System
If your MLTS provider confirms that their service offers direct access to 9-1-1, you shouldn’t just take their word for it. You need to test it. Contact your local Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) by their 10-digit emergency number and let them know you’re interested in testing your MLTS and ask what time and day would work best for them. When testing, don’t stop at confirming direct access into 9-1-1. Ensure that your provider also meets the standards of the Ray Baum’s Act and that a dispatchable location is also provided. That would mean a room or officer number is provided to the 9-1-1 telecommunicator, for example.
What Happens If You’re Not Compliant?
February 16 is the deadline for compliance for all organizations across the United States. Those who fail to become and stay compliant may face fees or fines, liability concerns, or, most importantly, are risking the health and safety of its employees and customers.
Kari’s Law was inspired by a horrific event. Don’t wait to meet compliance and risk your place of business becoming the setting of the next one.
ARLINGTON, Texas, January 28, 2020 — The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) will graduate 16 9-1-1 telecommunicators from its Regional Telecommunicator Academy (RTA) Class #009 on January 31 in Arlington. This class includes recruits from 12 different agencies, including Dallas ISD, the Mineral Wells Police Department, and the Ellis County Sheriff’s Office, among others.
The graduating recruits will have completed a rigorous four-week program that teaches equipment use, state mandates and regulations, how to handle emergency communications situations such as activeshootings, and more. Texas is the only state in the country that requires its telecommunicators to be licensed alongside peace officers and jailers, and NCT9-1-1 hosts the only 9-1-1 telecommunicator academy in the state. The district welcomes recruits from outside its region to participate and this year includes participants from Dallas ISD.
“At the academy, we’re not just training people to fill positions,” said NCT9-1-1 Training Coordinator Bret Batchelor. “We’re building a community of resiliency and comradery with our recruits. I want them to walk away with the skills to not only be successful at their new jobs, but to build a lifelong career as a 9-1-1 telecommunicator and to one day pass on their experiences to the next generation of dispatchers.”
The program has graduated recruits from all over Texas and Arkansas since its inception in February of 2016 and continues to grow with classes held twice a year in the winter and summer.
What: Graduation Ceremony for Regional Telecommunicator Academy Class #009
Where: 600 Six Flags Drive Suite 226, Arlington, TX 76011
When: January 31, 1:00 PM
Why: Celebrate the graduation of 16 new telecommunicators in North Texas
About the North Central Texas Emergency Communications District
The North Central Texas Emergency Communications District (NCT9-1-1) is responsible for 40 plus Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in the 13 counties surrounding the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. The district supports these PSAPs through maintaining and upgrading 9-1-1 equipment, providing up-to-date mapping information, training 9-1 telecommunicators, educating the public on the proper use of 9-1-1, and monitoring PSAP functionality and compliances. NCT9-1-1 serves a population of 1.7 million and 10,000+ square miles.
The proper amount and protocol for “screen time” has been a hot topic and often debated issue in parenting circles for a while now. Especially since technology has continued to affect every part of our lives. We at NCT9-1-1 aren’t here to pick a side — just to let you know that those old phones can still call 9-1-1.
What is a non initialized phone call?
As we near the end of 2019, NCT9-1-1 has started to pull some statistics on what 9-1-1 looked like for our region over the past year. The data we pulled included how many calls were made, how many were wireless versus wireline, how many texts to 9-1-1 occurred, the amount of abandoned calls, etc. One piece of data stood out to us: the number of non initialized phone calls.
“Non initialized call” is industry jargon for a call made with a cell phone that is not connected to a calling service. Your old cell phones collecting dust in your kitchen junk drawer can still call 9-1-1 as long as it can be charged and turned on, though they do not provide a location or a call back number. This capability has saved lives in the past (an infamous example being the case of the Turpin children in California, whose daughter rescued herself and her siblings by calling 9-1-1 with a deactivated cell phone).
However, few parents know that their old phones have this ability, and this leads to a huge amount of false calls to 9-1-1. Out of the 985,878 attempts to reach 9-1-1 in January to September in 2019, about 14% were from deactivated cell phones. Though a handful of these calls may have been legitimate 9-1-1 calls, the data is still skewed.
What should you do with your old phones?
If you’re not going to give your old phones to your kids to play with, what should you do with them? You can dispose of them properly or donate your old cell phones to a local women’s shelter where they will be utilized as untrackable, direct-to-9-1-1 devices. You can also keep your deactivated cell phone charged and in a central place in your home to use during an emergency.
Remember that when you give your old phone to your toddler, that phone can still call 9-1-1. If your child does happen to accidentally dial 9-1-1, the best thing you can do is stay on the line and explain the situation to the telecommunicator.