21 — Issue 26 | July 1, 2021
new data continues to emerge on the COVID-19 pandemic, clinicians and
scientists have become increasingly alarmed with a syndrome that has
been informally termed “long COVID” – continued symptoms of COVID-19
that last 3 weeks or more after the diagnosis. Long COVID patients
have a broad range of overlapping and often debilitating symptoms,
such as muscle pain or chest pain, difficulty breathing or shortness
of breath, and severe fatigue. The physical symptoms of long COVID
seem to be independent of the severity of the initial infection
symptoms, according to preliminary research on
this emerging pattern of illness.
June 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
released Evaluating and Caring for Patients with
Post-COVID Conditions: Interim Guidance. The CDC defines
“post-COVID conditions” as “an umbrella term for the wide range of
physical and mental health consequences experienced by some patients
that are present four or more weeks after SARS-CoV-2 infection,
including by patients who had initial mild or asymptomatic acute
addition to offering the most updated recommendations for health care
providers, the CDC’s new guidance provides resources for patients
suffering with these conditions, including information on very recently established
support and advocacy groups for long COVID patients.
April 2021 article in FireRescue1
stresses that, for those who have recovered from or are recovering
from COVID-19, it is important to watch for potential long-term
symptoms and to allow adequate time for the body to recover. The fire
service will need to be attentive to the ability of firefighters to
respond to full operational capacity following a prolonged recovery
of post-COVID conditions is likely to change rapidly with ongoing
research. The CDC recommends that both healthcare professionals and
patients continue to check CDC’s website for
updates on evolving guidance for post-COVID conditions.
recent tragic building collapse of the Surfside condo tower in
Miami-Dade County, Florida resulted in deployment of several urban
search and rescue teams around the country to help with rescue and recovery
efforts. These elite resources are highly technically skilled and
technologically equipped, and their capabilities are mission-critical
during a major disaster such as the Surfside condo structural
Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) National Integration
Center is seeking public feedback on two Urban Search and Rescue
(US&R) Job Title/Position Qualifications. These resource typing
documents enhance the interoperability and effectiveness of mutual
aid by establishing baseline qualifications for Urban Search & Rescue Logistics and Medical
Specialists. This facilitates the sharing of deployable
US&R resources at all jurisdictional levels.
engagement provides an opportunity for interested parties to comment
on the draft documents to ensure they are relevant to all
implementing partners. If you have experience with urban search and
rescue, you can help by giving FEMA your feedback on these two
30-day national engagement period will conclude at 5:00 p.m. EST on July 29,
2021. To provide feedback, review the draft documents, complete
the feedback form [Excel file download,
16 KB] with your comments, and submit the form to FEMA-NIMS@fema.dhs.gov no later than
5:00 p.m. EST on July 29, 2021.
public safety personnel to effectively respond to incidents and
events, there must be reliable, secure, operable, and interoperable
communications systems in place. However, the rapid rate of
technology evolution means public safety agencies must also plan for
the ongoing integration and alignment of technologies such as Land
Mobile Radio (LMR), Next Generation 911 (NG911), FirstNet Authority’s
Nationwide Public Safety Broadband Network, as well as alerts,
warnings, and notifications systems.
their efforts to ensure emergency communication systems are in a
secure and interoperable state, the public safety community will
likely continue to face funding challenges.
safety agencies need to be able to balance integration and alignment
of communications technologies with other competing priorities and
funding needs. They also need to be able to prepare clear and concise
budget options that identify multiple revenue streams, especially
given fluctuating funding levels.
address these needs, the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security
Agency (CISA), in partnership with SAFECOM and the National Council of Statewide Interoperability
Coordinators (NCSWIC), recently released an updated Funding Mechanisms Guide for Public Safety
Communications to assist public safety agencies in
identifying funding sources for emergency communications projects.
This update builds on the 2015 version of the Guide. It highlights
strengths, challenges, and opportunities for public safety
communications funding, and incorporates examples of real-world
successes and challenges from states and localities.
Funding Mechanisms Guide assists agencies in determining whether a
particular strategy for obtaining funding is suitable for their
community. To assist in identifying appropriate solutions, this
document summarizes the Emergency Communications System Lifecycle
Planning Guide Compendium’s pre-planning steps. These
steps help agencies look past initial capital investments to consider
acquisitions, repairs, and upgrades as necessary costs, and plan for
the entire system lifecycle. Along with this guidance, the document
includes an extensive inventory of all different types of funding
mechanisms, and a list of resources for additional considerations,
guidance, and best practices.
Funding Mechanisms Guide, along with many of the resources referenced
within the Guide, are available within CISA’s Sustaining Public Safety Communications Systems
encourages public safety agency leaders to visit SAFECOM’s Funding Resources page,
where you can find guidance on grant funding for emergency
communications projects, as well as brief descriptions of all of the
resources provided in CISA’s Sustaining Public Safety Communications Systems
January 6 incident at the United States Capitol presented a unique
set of circumstances for the District of Columbia (DC) Fire and EMS
Department: a planned protest turned into a riot. There
are important lessons to be learned about unified command; working
with multiple agencies; having adequate resources; and making
decisions in a changing tactical environment.
International Association of Fire Chiefs
(IAFC) will host a webinar on Tuesday,
July 20, 2021, from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. EST to discuss
the emergency response at the January 6 Incident at the U.S. Capitol.
At this webinar, the Chief and Deputy Chief from the DC Fire and EMS
Department will discuss the issues that arose on January 6 and
lessons that can be learned for fire and EMS agencies.
webinar is free to join and open to anyone, but registration is required.
CISA’s CSET Tool sets sights on ransomware threat
Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has released
a new module in its Cyber Security Evaluation Tool (CSET): the
Ransomware Readiness Assessment (RRA). CSET is a desktop software
tool that guides network defenders through a step-by-step process to
evaluate their cybersecurity practices on their networks.
CSET—applicable to both information technology (IT) and industrial
control system (ICS) networks—enables users to perform a
comprehensive evaluation of their cybersecurity posture using many
recognized government and industry standards and recommendations.
strongly encourages all organizations to take the CSET Ransomware
Readiness Assessment, available at https://github.com/cisagov/cset/releases/tag/v10.3.0.0.
developing a catalog of Bad Practices
recent incidents have demonstrated, cyberattacks against critical
infrastructure can have significant impacts on the critical functions
of government and the private sector. All organizations, and
particularly those supporting designated Critical Infrastructure or National Critical Functions (NCF)
should implement an effective cybersecurity program to protect
against cyber threats and manage cyber risk in a manner commensurate
with the criticality of those NCFs to national security, national
economic security, and/or national public health and safety.
is developing a catalog of Bad Practices that are exceptionally
risky, especially in organizations supporting Critical Infrastructure
or NCFs. The presence of these Bad Practices in organizations that
support Critical Infrastructure or NCFs is exceptionally dangerous
and increases risk to our critical infrastructure, on which we rely
for national security, economic stability, and life, health, and safety
of the public.
in the catalog will be listed here as they are added.
SolarWinds hackers continue to target IT companies
says it has observed new activity associated with Nobelium, the
Russia-linked threat actor that compromised IT management and
monitoring solutions provider SolarWinds.
SolarWinds attack was brought to light in early December 2020 and it
involved compromising SolarWinds’ Orion monitoring product to deliver
trojanized updates to the company’s customers worldwide, in an effort
to breach their networks.
Friday, Microsoft revealed that it recently observed password spray
and brute-force attacks associated with current Nobelium activity, with
targets identified in 36 countries.
Disconnect: new high-severity bugs affect 128 Dell PC and tablet
researchers on Thursday disclosed a chain of vulnerabilities
affecting the BIOSConnect feature within Dell Client BIOS that could
be abused by a privileged network adversary to gain arbitrary code
execution at the BIOS/UEFI level of the affected device.
all, the flaws affect 128 Dell models spanning across consumer and
business laptops, desktops, and tablets, totaling an estimated 30
million individual devices. Worse, the weaknesses also impact
computers that have Secure Boot enabled, a security
feature designed to prevent rootkits from being installed at
boot time in memory.
National Cyber Awareness System encourages users and administrators to review
the Dell Security Advisory DSA-2019-084 and apply the necessary
The Hacker News)
guidance on securing voice, video communications
National Security Agency (NSA) has shared mitigations and best
practices that systems administrators should follow when securing
Unified Communications (UC) and Voice and Video over IP (VVoIP)
these communication systems are tightly integrated with other IT
equipment within enterprise networks, they also inadvertently
increase the attack surface by introducing new vulnerabilities and
the potential for covert access to an organization's communications.
Improperly secured UC/VVoIP devices are exposed to the same security
risks and targeted by threat actors through spyware, viruses,
software vulnerabilities, and other malicious means if not adequately
secured and configured.
the NSA’s website to read the abridged
and full versions of NSA’s guidance.
InfoGram is distributed weekly to provide members of the Emergency
Services Sector with information concerning the protection of their
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