9-1-1 Information Saved a Man From Burning Home

Customer Success Story

9-1-1 Information Saved a Man From Burning Home

Grand Traverse County logo

Public Safety

Challenges Solved

9-1-1 Response

Customer Details

Traverse City, Michigan has a population of over 15,000 people. The Traverse City Police Department was one of the leaders in implementing community policing in the 1980’s and 1990’s.




In the case of a fire, carbon dioxide emissions are the greatest danger. In a room full of smoke, it can be difficult to breathe, never mind speak. What happens when you call 9-1-1 but are unable to tell them what’s wrong? How can you make sure first responders have enough information to help you?

In Traverse City, Michigan, a 9-1-1 call taker received an emergency call from a man named Dan Hoffman. The dispatcher tried to communicate with him, but all they could hear was a man choking. It was clear something was wrong, but 9-1-1 was unsure what that emergency was. What the 9-1-1 center didn’t know was that Hoffman had woken up to a room full of flames.

The Solution

Hoffman’s 9-1-1 call came into the station without critical GPS information. The current mobile system did not relay his coordinates and when someone is trapped in a fire, every second counts. Fortunately, Hoffman set up a Smart911 Safety Profile, displaying his home address and help was immediately dispatched.

“Smart911 cut 11 minutes off the response time; it saved my life. Every day I’m here is a blessing. Every day I get to hug my girls, there are going to be no regrets. I’m here; I’ve gotten my second chance. Thank you Smart911, because it’s what saved me. I didn’t have that 11 minutes, I didn’t have 5 minutes, according to everybody. The responders that saved me risked their lives and I know they do it on a daily basis. There are no words to express the gratitude I have for those guys and those women who do it every day. Thank you.”


The Result

When the first responders arrived, Hoffman’s home was already engulfed in flames. The firefighters were able to rush into the home where he was unconscious in his living room. They pulled him from the flames and to safety.

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