What is a 9-line MEDEVAC and proper procedures to call it

USAF Pararescue Jumbers (PJs) deploying

Medical evacuation, often shortened to MEDEVAC or MEDIVAC, 9-line MEDEVAC is the timely and efficient movement and en route care provided by medical personnel to wounded being evacuated from a battlefield or combat zone to injured patients being evacuated from the scene of an accident to receiving medical facilities, or to patients at a rural hospital requiring urgent care at a better-equipped facility using medically equipped ground vehicles (ambulances) or aircraft (air ambulances).

9-line MEDEVAC steps

  • Step 1: Conduct care under fire and TCCC (Tactical Combat Casualty Care)
  • Step 2: Determine the number of patients by type of
  • Step 3: Contact MEDEVAC channel
  • Step 4: Using 9-Line MEDEVAC format call-in MEDEVAC.

The first 5 lines are most important when calling in a MEDEVAC, the other 4 can be relayed when birds are in the air. Ensure you have a safe LZ (Landing Zone) for the landing party.

Example of 9-Line MEDEVAC

“Bravo five this is Victor two, request 9 line MEDEVAC” “Victor two this is Bravo five prepared to copy” “Line one, one eight sierra whiskey papa one two tree one four five one seven” “Line two, two seven zero zero Bravo Five” “Line tree, alpha one, bravo tree” “line four, alpha” “line five, alpha four” “How copy over?” At this point, the MEDEVAC line will repeat all given and initiate a movement for MEDEVAC.

What is a 9-line MEDEVAC and proper procedures to call it 1
3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) calls in a 9-line medevac (Photo: U.S. Army/Sgt. Steven Lewis)

Once in the air, the operator will relay the final four lines in the same manner given. It’s always important to remain calm on the radio and ALWAYS have a 9 Line MEDEVAC on hand.


NATO 9 Line Line 1: Location of Pickup Site (Grid or latitude/longitude) Line 2: Frequency & Call Sign At Pickup Site Line 3: Number of Patients By Precedence

  1. Urgent (Non-Surgical)- evacuate within 2 hours
  2. Urgent-surgical (All Trauma)- need immediate Surgical Care
  3. Priority– evacuate within 4 hours
  4. Routine– evacuate within 24 hours
  5. Convenience– evacuate when possible

Line 4: Special Equip. Req (hoist, ventilator, extraction device) Line 5: Number of Patients by Type: L+# of litter patents   A+# of ambulatory patients Line 6: Wartime: Security of Pickup Site N- No Enemy Troops P- Possible Enemy Troops in the Area E- Confirmed Enemy Troops in Area (Use Caution) X- Engaged With Enemy Troops (Armed Escort Required) Line 7: Marking of Pickup Site (Panel, Smoke, Lights-What Color?) Line 8: Patient Status and Nationality (If Known) A= US/ Coalition Military, Nationality= B= US/ Coalition Force Civilian, Nationality= C= Non-Coalition Force Soldier, Nationality= D=Non US/Coalition Civilian, Nationality= E= Enemy Prisoner of War F= High-Value Target (Armed Escort Required) Line 9: WARTIME: NBC Contamination