I called 911 to ask about donating to a Fire Department fundraising drive for cancer. The man who answered rudely switched on a recording telling me to look up the business number. When I called back on that number the same man answered the phone!

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A.  911 is for emergency calls only!

In Waltham it's true that the same people who answer the 911 calls also answer the business lines for the Fire Department and Police Department. The point is that the 911 lines are reserved for emergency calls. Period. If a 911 line and a business line are ringing at the same time, the 911 call will be given priority and answered first. We will not tie up an emergency line for non-emergency calls. We will be happy to take non-emergency calls on the other lines, provided that there are no 911 calls ringing. You may be asked to hold on a business line or even be disconnected if an emergency situation arises.