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Posted on: February 21, 2020

Multi-line telephone systems must comply with new laws


A new law takes effect in February 2020, requiring multi-line telephone systems (MLTS), like those found in hotels and offices, to dial 9-1-1 from anywhere on location, link properly with emergency dispatch centers and provide accurate information to first-responders.

Kari’s Law and its corresponding state acts require all multi-line telephone systems in the U.S. to enable direct dial to 9-1-1, direct routing to a 911 center and on-site notification of a 9-1-1 call that includes a detailed “dispatch location” information to decrease response time.

The law is named after Kari Hunt Dunn, a Texas woman slain by her estranged husband as her children watched. A 9-year-old daughter attempted to call 9-1-1, but was unable to reach emergency responders because she didn’t understand that the hotel phone required her to first dial “9.” The new law has transformed emergency communications by mandating that public safety be built into every aspect of a telephone system. Kari’s Law makes it so that every person can easily call for help, and be easily located by emergency services, no matter where they are calling from (basement, first floor, second floor, etc.).

Work now with your Taylor 911 Center to update or check your system

According to the Michigan State Police, because of the diversity of the locations and capabilities of MLTS across the State, it is critical that MLTS operators work directly with local public-safety entities to ensure compliance. Taylor Police and Fire understand the specific needs of emergency responders in the City, and can provide specific guidance as to what level of information would be sufficient for compliance, and what level of information would be considered “best practice.”


The City of Taylor strongly recommends that every MLTS operator in the City work with the Taylor Police Lt. Jeff Adamisin to understand these new requirements and test their ability to dial into the emergency system. All 9-1-1 calls in Taylor currently run through the police dispatch center. Contact Lt. Adamisin at (734) 287-6611 or by email at

What is E911 and why is it important?

Residents of Michigan have depended on reaching local emergency services by dialing 9-1-1 for decades. Today, the advancement of technology allows for “E911” or “Enhanced 911,” which means that when 9-1-1 is dialed, the calling party’s callback number and location information are delivered to the geographically appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). The delivery of caller-location information to the PSAP call-taker’s screen is the feature that sets E911 apart from basic 911.

E911 technology significantly improved the ability of PSAPs to effectively deliver critical public safety and emergency response services in a timely manner. In many instances, it has proven to be a life-saving, essential emergency response tool in providing critical information when the caller is unable to verbally communicate his or her location, including when the voice call is dropped, discontinued and cannot be reestablished.

In order to provide the specific location information for a caller, every telephone capable of dialing 9-1-1 must have an Automatic Location Information (ALI) record in the 911 database to identify the caller’s specific location. Under Michigan law, the provision of an Emergency Response Location (ERL) for every telephone capable of dialing 9--11 on a multi-line telephone system was required by December 31, 2019. If ALI records are properly entered and maintained in the 911 database, a caller’s location or ERL will display on the PSAP display, reducing response time for emergency services.

Why is location information so important?

There are many reasons a person calling 9--11 might not be able to communicate his or her specific location to the 911 dispatcher. Here are a few examples:

  • Someone is choking, having a heart attack, or some other physical injury which prevents them from speaking.
  • The caller is unable to talk or is fearful of speaking, for instance during a bank robbery at a branch location of a banking network.
  • A person is disabled in some way that makes telephone communication difficult or impossible, such as being deaf or mute.
  • The caller is a child or a visitor, and doesn’t know their address/location.
  • The caller cannot speak English.

These are all real – and common – situations. By automatically providing specific location information through the 911 system, the 911 dispatcher is able to immediately relay fire, police, or EMS responders to the caller’s location, even when the person is unable to communicate information.

If you have a multi-line telephone system, we strongly suggest you contact the Taylor Police as soon as possible to either test your system, or come into compliance.

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