Melanie Jones has proudly spent 34 years working in public safety.

She is currently the executive director of Guilford Metro 911 and is rising through the ranks since starting with the agency in 1999.

Knowing what it’s like to be in a dispatcher’s shoes is why Jones is so passionate about advocating for emergency telecommunicators at the local, state and national level.

“On the federal level, they have us classified as secretarial, and these folks are doing lifesaving work every day,” Jones said. “It’s a struggle for me to see how anybody can equate that to secretarial work.”

Jones was elected to the National Emergency Number Association’s Board of Directors in 2022.

She begins serving as the association’s first vice president this year.

“NENA…advocates in Washington. We go once a year to Capitol Hill to push for next-generation 911 funding and for 911 telecommunicators to be classified as public safety personnel,” she said.

Jones has worked across political party lines to bring attention to legislation reclassifying 911 dispatchers.

Greensboro City Council is standing with her in this effort, recently passing a resolution to support the reclassification of 911 dispatchers.

“They know that I have a tremendous amount of respect for them because I know what they do,” she said.

Jones will go with other NENA representatives to Washington, DC next month to get renewed support from lawmakers.

She will become the association’s president next year.