Texas family petitions for upgraded 911 systems after hotel death
ALBANY, GA (WALB) - Last month an East Texas family suffered the loss of a young mother, Kari Hunt Dunn. She was stabbed multiple times in a hotel room where she was staying with her family, her 9 year old daughter tried calling 911 for help but couldn't get through. She tried several times but heard nothing but static, she had no idea she had to dial a prefix before making the call from the hotel phone.
"We spend a lot of time doing that and we know 911 and young children just typically know 911 and they expect to hear a voice on the other end," Albany-Dougherty Emergency Management Agency representative Jim Vault said.
That's why the Hunt family is striving to get support for an online petition that would require every single hotel and business to upgrade their 911 systems and get rid of the dial out number. So far, over 400,000 people are have signed for the change called "Kari's Law," in honor of the mother's life who was lost.
"It impacts a larger number across the nation and again with any public safety time is essence," Albany-Dougherty EMS Training Supervisor Richard Roberts shares. "It can make the big difference whether it's EMS, law or fire."
Vault explains, "If they have to dial a prefix to get out then it can become confusing and time delaying and they never get the call through."
In the Albany-Dougherty area, the enhanced 911 system is in place, it gives location and number to which the caller is calling from and the prefix is also not a requirement. However, some cities and their businesses still require the dial out before. Emergency officials feel it's an important issue that sometimes falls under the radar.
"For us it would be much better if 911 means 911," Vault said.
The Hunt family hopes the requirement will help those in need get help faster.
Footage of Kari Hunt Dunn and hotel by KLTV
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