The death of Kari Hunt Dunn has led to calls for hotels to make the emergency number, 911, readily available to all. A petition has been started by the father of the dead woman with the support of various emergency agencies to remove the requirement of dialing another number before the emergency number. In the case of Kari, her daughter tried to call 911 but the 9 year old girl did not know to dial 9 first and then the emergency number.
In revelations by the grandfather of the surviving youngster, the girl heard the struggles of her mother as she lay dying after being stabbed several times in a hotel room. The lady tried dialing 911 as she had been trained to do in emergencies. The call would however not go through since she did no dial 9 first. The grandfather says that the life of his daughter could have been saved if the hotel did not require the dialing of the number 9 before the emergency number. Police think that the husband of the woman stabbed her to death before running away to a nearby state.
Emergency organizations and advocates of the petition such as the National Emergency Number Association want hotels and motels to upgrade their telephone systems to an enhanced 911 system where there is no need to dial another number before the emergency number. Some hotels are already adopting the changes proposed by having systems that have a number for outside calls but the emergency number is dialed directly.
It is unclear how many emergencies are not dealt with annually since there is insufficient data to work with. The National Emergency Number Association says that the cases that are reported each year are an indicator of a bigger unrealized problem. Their argument is that if some cases get reported, then there are many other cases that are not. Emergencies need to be dealt with quickly but this is not possible if there is need to dial another number before the emergency number since the call may not go through or it will go through with some delay. It is hoped that the petition will bring change and improve access to the emergency number for guests at hotels and motels.