I read an article the other day about a woman who was murdered by her estranged husband in the bathroom of a hotel room while her three children were in the other room. Her oldest daughter tried to dial 911 four times, but it didn't work because of how the hotel's phone system was set up. This hotel, along with a lot of other hotels, required you to dial 9 to get an outside line - even if you were trying to dial 911. The child never got through to 911, and her mother died.
I was shocked when I read this because I have never considered the possibility that dialing 911 wouldn't be enough. If I needed to dial 911 from a hotel room, would I remember to dial 9 first? Probably not. Especially if it was a true emergency. In those times of panic, it's hard to stay calm and focus and think clearly.
We have always been taught to dial 911, and we have always taught our children to dial 911, but now I guess we need to be aware that sometimes we may have to dial 9911. But we can change this. The father of the woman who was killed has started a petition to require hotels and other businesses to update their phone systems so that you don't have to dial 9 before dialing 911. Please go to the website and sign the petition so this doesn't happen to anyone else.