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August 19, 2009

Free Webinar: Complying with the New Massachusetts E911 Law

RedSky Technologies Inc., Chicago-based provider of enhanced 911 solutions on Aug. 26 is gathering a panel of experts for a free Webinar that’s designed to help Massachusetts businesses get up to speed on what they need to do to comply with a critical new E911 law that took effect last month.

As of July 1, businesses installing, expanding or replacing multi-line phone systems must comply with broader requirements in the area of E911, a technology that leverages location-based services to pinpoint the exact whereabouts of distressed 911 callers.
The requirements – which are being adopted by more and more states – are complex, in part because they involve specific and complicated technologies, and also because the regulations may vary for businesses, depending on the specific type of project.
As with many technology-related mandates, business decision-makers and employees who focus on corporate risk management and workplace safety should ensure that they’re in compliance by getting advice from experts.
That’s why RedSky put together a panel that includes George Fosque, director of the Cambridge Emergency Communications Department, to participate in its Webinar.
The event will be held at 10 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday, Aug. 26. Click here to register.
According to RedSky’s senior vice president, Nick Maier, most people assume when they call 9-1-1 that emergency response will be able to find them quickly and that’s not always the case.
“This new law now requires Massachusetts organizations to take the steps necessary to provide this life-saving location information to emergency dispatchers and this Webinar is designed to raise awareness about the law and demystify the compliance process for phone system managers,” said Maier, pictured left.
During the Webinar, Fosque and others will discuss the new E911 law and what it requires of Bay State organizations operating a PBX, IP call server or Centrex phone system. Businesses, government agencies, education and nonprofit organizations in Massachusetts all must comply.
The event, which will include a question-and-answer session, also will discuss E911-related liability risks and the types of solutions available to help businesses comply reduce those risks by complying the new law – not to mention saving lives.
Fosque is an expert in that area.
A member of the state 911 Commission as well as Cambridge’s Emergency Communications Department, he helped draft the new E911 legislation and 560 CMR 4.00 regulations. He’s also on the Regulatory and Legislative Committee for the National Emergency Number Association. As one of two people responsible for implementation of Cambridge’s new IP-based PBX, he has direct experience with E911 solutions that comply with the new regulations.
Those regulations require that all new or substantially renovated multi-line telephone systems must provide to end-users or subscribers the same level of E911 service that’s provided to other end-users in the state. That service includes what’s known as “automatic location identification,” or “ALI.”
For businesses, in particular, multi-line telephone systems must transmit to public safety answering points, or “PSAPs,” the street address and an emergency response location that provides at least the building and floor location of the caller.
To be in compliance, any business, facility, agency, or institution that installs, replaces or expands its system by more than 50 percent will need to ensure that their new or substantially renovated multi-line telephone system shall provide the same level of enhanced 911 service including ANI/ALI as is provided by all other wireline phones in the state.
Specifically, the law requires buildings with a workspace of 22,500 square feet or less to transmit to the PSAP at least one ANI and at least one emergency response location with a street address and unit identifier for each building.
Joining Fosque for the hour-long Webinar will be Alicea Grau, RedSky’s director of sales, who specializes in helping organizations make intelligent decisions about E911 location information solutions. The company markets E911 solutions for smaller businesses operating phone systems with 50 phones up to large, complex enterprises with thousands of phones and hundreds of locations.

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Michael Dinan is a contributing editor for TMCnet, covering news in the IP communications, call center and customer relationship management industries. To read more of Michael's articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Jessica Kostek

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