Hoteliers' Group Backs Enhanced 911

Katherine Lugar, president/CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association, said AH&LA has convened a task force, developed an industry recommendation, and is creating resources to help properties provide it.

The American Hotel & Lodging Association has created a taskforce and has developed an industry recommendation in response to the Kari’s Law petition, which has gathered hundreds of thousands of signatures. It seeks to ensure that hotels provide "Enhanced 911" so guests can dial 911 directly from their rooms, without having to first dial 9 or 8, and the 911 operator will know their exact location. The petition was created after a woman named Kari Hunt Dunn was stabbed in a Marshall, Texas, hotel room in December 2013 and her 9-year-old daughter was unable to reach 911 because she was unaware she had to dial 9 first. Dunn did not survive the attack, allegedly by her estranged husband.

Katherine Lugar, president/CEO of the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA), described the association’s actions thus far on March 25. "The safety and security of our guests and employees is paramount to hoteliers. The ability for guests to dial 911 directly from a guestroom is a top priority, and AH&LA has moved quickly to convene an industry task force of more than 50 lodging executives with expertise in telecommunications and security to address this goal," Lugar said. "Thousands of hotels already utilize direct dial or are aggressively implementing that option. We are encouraging the remaining properties to examine their internal procedures and telecommunications systems to address the issue. AH&LA has developed an industry recommendation and is creating resources to assist properties in ensuring direct 911 dialing procedures. Moreover, AH&LA will continue to work closely with our members, the Federal Communications Commission, Congress, and other stakeholders, as the industry aggressively takes action."

AH&LA conducted a survey of 52,500 U.S. properties to ask about current emergency dialing procedures. Among the 6,000 properties that responded, 32 percent of the independent properties and 45 percent of the franchised properties indicated guests can directly dial 911 from all of their guestrooms, according to the association's update.

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