While I can't stand Verizon and consider the Note 7 an unmitigated disaster, you clearly have no understanding of how incredibly important 911 access is. Do the math for yourself and it's pretty clear that bricking the device makes absolutely no sense, given that a Note 7 user is 1000x more likely to place a 911 call than they are to have their phone combust. In fact, let's quickly walk through the math together...
The incident rate with the Note 7 was around 87 per million after the first three months or so. Even if we extrapolate the rate out to a full year, we're still talking about any particular Note 7 having less than a 0.04% chance of an incident in a given year. To the best of my recollection, none of the incidents to date have resulted in life-threatening injuries, so while 0.04% is an atrocious annual rate for a consumer product and well-deserving of a recall, a 0.04% annual incident rate isn't that bad in the grand scheme of things.
Contrast that with the fact that the US has a population of 320 million people who make 240 million 911 calls each year. 70% of the calls come from mobile devices and at least 80% are for actual, life-threatening emergencies. Based on that, we can say that lives are on the line for about 134 million 911 calls made from mobile phones in the US each year, which averages to about 2 calls per 5 Americans each year (42% annually). I'll admit that those calls are almost certainly not evenly distributed among the population, but we just want some ballpark estimates (i.e. orders of magnitude), so we'll use them as they are.
Suppose there are still one million Note 7 devices in use in the US. In the next half month, the odds suggest that about 15 of them will combust while 17,500 of them will be used to make 911 calls in response to life-threatening emergencies. As I said at the top, that means that a Note 7 user is over 1000x more likely to need to place a 911 call to save a life than they are to have their phone combust (which would probably cause more annoyance than injury).
But please, continue telling us about how Verizon is acting contrary to the safety and wellbeing of their customers.