On March 19, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) issued a memorandum on identification of essential critical infrastructure workers during Covid-19 response. The memorandum was intended to identify those workers critical to public safety and health who would be exempt from mandatory business closures or work shutdowns.
In the “Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce,” CISA “developed an initial list of ‘Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers’ to help State and local officials as they work to protect their communities, while ensuring continuity of functions critical to public health and safety, as well as economic and national security.”
The Guidance on the Essential Critical Infrastructure Workforce can be viewed by clicking here.
While the guidance addresses numerous occupations and services in law enforcement, public safety, first responders, transportation and logistics as essential, critical infrastructure workers, towing operations are not included in the listings.
Noting it was likely an oversight, industry safety advocate Bill Giorgis of Mike’s Wrecker Service in Saginaw, Mich., would like to see towing operations formally on the list. “The towing community is critical to keeping roads open and trucks on the highways across the United States,” Giorgis said. “Adding towers universally to the list as first responders would solve this now and in the future. Towers should check in the states they work in and see how they’re classified. If they are classified as first responders, it is not an issue. They may be classified as contracted vendors, or under transportation.
“While this omission is not a significant development considering the overall impact of the coronavirus, the towing industry should be aware of this classification now rather than later,” Giorgis said, “and to perhaps work on inclusion as first responders in the future.”