Tuesday, August 12, 2014

CSEC Holding MLTS Workshop to Address 9-1-1 Concerns

Due to the considerable attention given to MLTS (Multi-Line Telephone Systems) following a tragic incident that occurred in a Texas hotel in December 2013 ( See Kari Hunt story), the staff of the Commission on State Emergency Communications (“CSEC”) will conduct a workshop regarding Accessing 9-1-1 Service Via a Multi-line Telephone System (“MLTS”) on Wednesday, August 27, 2014, from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m., in the William P. Hobby Building, 333 Guadalupe Street, Room 100, Austin, Texas 78701.
In the emergency communications industry, CSEC works with various government and municipal entities throughout the state to ensure that 9-1-1 access is available. The issue being addressed in this workshop consists of phone systems found in businesses that have multiple phone lines commonly called MLTS. With an MLTS in place, the ability to dial out may require an additional digit such as the number “9” to reach a 9-1-1 operator. Many people are not aware that you have to dial “9” first when trying to reach 9-1-1 which can cost lives.

“The faster the caller can reach an operator for help the better,” Connie Chavarria of the City of Laredo said. “The public has become familiarized with simply dialing 9-1-1 for help.”
Because this issue has come to the table, all 9‑1-1 entities, businesses (including hotels, hospitals, and schools), MLTS vendors, communications service providers, third‑party provider community, and interested persons are invited to attend this public workshop.

“I feel it is crucial to start a nationwide campaign, and a message regarding MLTS should be added to our 9-1-1 education program,” Leticia Truex of Potter Randall 9-1-1 said. “Everyone has a responsibility. The 9-1-1 entities should require that phone vendors allow direct access. Public Educators and all others involved with 9-1-1 need to educate the public, companies with MLTS need to know what their phone systems are and aren’t capable of and post such information for their customers.”
This workshop will address all and any issues regarding MLTS lines. It is important that all 9-1-1 entities participate in this discussion including directors, educators, businesses and schools. Change comes when we all work together, which is why CSEC is holding this workshop.

“Like any kind of public education message, first there should be awareness, starting with the independent phone vendors, and the building managers to the principals, teachers, front desk clerks and security guards,” Pam Frisk of Panhandle Regional Planning Commission said. “People, including children, are told to dial 9-1-1, not 9-9-1-1.  Especially in an emergency, they will rely on what they have been told to do and not necessarily think, ‘Hey I need to get an outside line first and then dial 9-1-1’.”
Please join us for this important workshop. To register for the audio portion of the workshop, please visit here: http://bit.ly/911MLTS. For more information on the MLTS workshop please visit www.csec.texas.gov.

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