Nine Line Medevac - What Is Nine Line?

Nine Line Medevac - What Is Nine Line?

Recently, we have been asked why our company is called Nine Line Apparel. This is why we are Nine Line:

9 Line is a military term that Medevacs use for calling in a combat injury. Because it is such a stressful and sometimes hectic situation, 9 line is the best way to calmly and accurately report that a soldier needs medical attention. It is very important that the information needed is communicated clearly to ensure that the soldier gets the care that he or she needs in a timely manner.

The important steps to make sure this procedure is handled correctly are:

Step 1: Return fire/render the scene safe- Before attempting to call in a 9Line MEDEVAC the scene must be rendered safe. Personnel should not reduce the overall efficacy of the force’s firepower to call in a 9Line.

Step 2: Care under fire- Once fire superiority has been established medical personnel can begin care under fire. In this step medical personnel and medically trained operators can begin to tend to life threatening wounds while maintaining security.

Step 3: Determine number of patients by type- this is not only important information to have when calling in the 9line but it will also allow medical personnel to properly triage patients based on their medical condition and chances of living. In this step critically wounded personnel are identified and consolidated in the event there is limited space on incoming MEDEVAC platforms.

Step 4: Contact MEDEVAC channel- while rending the scene safe is important, getting the MEDEVAC out is also extremely important. MEDEVAC units will have varied response times but giving them notification of the situation as soon as possible will help reduce their time to station. If the operating element has a BFT this should be hit as soon as possible to let supporting units know of the emergency taking place. Again, operating personnel should practice radioing for help as part of their response to an attack.

Step 5: Using 9 Line MEDEVAC format to 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 for the landing party.

Important: no matter what the situation on the ground the radio operator should remain calm and collected at all costs. Personnel calling in a MEDEVAC while in a state of panic may relay incorrect information or speak in a manner that is incomprehensible over the radio. Remember, responding units will not come any faster if the RTO is calling the 9Line in an excitable manner.

This is the format for calling in a 9 Line:

Line 1. Location of the pick-up site.

Line 2. Radio frequency, call sign, and suffix.

Line 3. Number of patients by precedence:
A - Urgent
B - Urgent Surgical
C - Priority
D - Routine
E - Convenience

Line 4. Special equipment required:
A - None
B - Hoist
C - Extraction equipment
D - Ventilator

Line 5. Number of patients:
A - Litter
B - Ambulatory

Line 6. Security at pick-up site:
N - No enemy troops in area
P - Possible enemy troops in area (approach with caution)
E - Enemy troops in area (approach with caution)
X - Enemy troops in area (armed escort required)
* In peacetime - number and types of wounds, injuries, and illnesses

Line 7. Method of marking pick-up site:
A - Panels
B - Pyrotechnic signal
C - Smoke signal
D - None
E - Other

Line 8. Patient nationality and status:
A - US Military
B - US Civilian
C - Non-US Military
D - Non-US Civilian
E - EPW

Line 9. NBC Contamination:
N - Nuclear
B - Biological
C - Chemical* In peacetime - terrain description of pick-up site

Nine Line Apparel also has a 9 Line Medevac shirt for sale if you are interested in purchasing it on our website. We are so grateful that things like these organizational methods are put in place to ensure that those wounded in combat get the correct medical attention and possibly even save their lives. 


104 comments


  • SSG (ret) James Coulson

    Mr. McBride, thank you for comment about the oil industry. I found it fascinating and didn’t know that. Myself, being a former Medevac nurse, I can ensure you that the military/army does use a nine line request for medevac requests. Please see the following link, I hope it clears up things for you.
    https://api.army.mil/e2/c/downloads/355651.pdf


  • William Mcbride

    First things first 9 line-by-line has absolutely nothing to do with the military. If you look on Wikipedia you will find out it’s a saying that started in the oil field in the 1920s. Long before helicopters. It means your well is puking so bad, blowing out mud, that the drill pipe jumps up and hits the blocks which have 9 lines on them and they all become Tangled. You cannot raise or lower your tool. Doesn’t have one damn thing to do with a medic. Google it,.


  • Daniel Miller

    In ‘75 I was medevac’d from the field for heat stroke in Okinawa. Don’t know what it was called but am eternally grateful to the our Corpsman and the aircrew that got me to the hospital in time. Semper Fi.


  • David Wrightson

    Nine lines are used for calling in combat air strikes by JTAC


  • Mark Lewis

    I credit a former US Army SF medic for saving my life while serving as an American police contractor in Kosovo in 2004. Though my Medivac was German Army, he triaged me and made the call. Medics rock!


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