9 Line MEDEVAC Request

Updated: December 24, 2022
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    What is a 9 Line MEDEVAC Request? This form is described by the National Center for Biotechnology Information as “the report and request for resources used once it is determined there is a need to evacuate patients.”

    This form is part of general-information type military study guides, training manuals, etc. but also as part of more specific field training and instruction for military medical personnel and their civilian counterparts.

    These procedures are studied as part of readiness training in a variety of scenarios including nuclear, biological, and chemical warfare situations.

    Army training manuals indicate the following for testing soldier knowledge of the procedures required to initiate a Line 9 request. They include instructions for training scenarios where there is a casualty requiring a medical evacuation from a specific site.

    In such cases, the soldier is evaluated on the ability to request medical evacuation and properly use the required gear including, according to Army training manuals, “communications equipment, medical evacuation (MEDEVAC) request format, a standard scale military map, a grid coordinate scale, and unit signal operation instructions (SOI).”

    Soldiers are rated on their ability to properly initiate the evacuation, with the following requirement applicable in such training environments: “Transmit a MEDEVAC request and provide all necessary MEDEVAC request information within 25 seconds.” In real-world situations, that may be all the time available to transmit the information before being hindered by enemy actions, changes in weather or the circumstances of a disaster, etc. depending on the situation.

    What Is A MEDEVAC?

    The term “MEDEVAC” is an abbreviation of “medical evacuation”, and can be used to describe the act of evacuating patients but also as a reference to the aircraft used to perform the evacuation.

    A medical evacuation can be performed during wartime, during a national emergency, or in specific instances where a medical evacuation is required after an accident, attack, etc.

    When performing a medical evacuation, there are concerns over prioritizing patients. The medical term “triage” refers, in part, to placing priority on which casualties are treated first. In context of a medical evacuation, this includes placing priority on who must travel first in terms of injury severity, treatment availability, etc.

    A 9 Line MEDEVAC Request is part of this “field triage” process–the “first-to-fly” patients are identified and given priority, the others are transported in order of need as described on the form.

    The Line 9 form does not presume that all requests are immediate-need medical issues. As reproduced below, the form also includes a “priority” section to determine whether there is an emergency need, a routine need, or something in between.

    What Is A 9-Line MEDEVAC Request?

    Essentially the Line 9 request is a checklist and form where specific evacuation-essential information is listed. This data may be transmitted over radio, internet, or by other means, and it is used as a method for preparing casualties for evacuation based on a set of priorities that become obvious once you’ve read the form.

    For example, in addition to listing the location of the evacuation site, the number of patients/casualties, and the proper communication frequencies/methods, the number and nature of the patients to be evacuated must be detailed.

    Security details must be included as well as requests for any specialized equipment that may be needed to make the evacuation work properly.

    This information is critical since these details may need to pass through many hands between the time the evacuation request is called in to the time when the mission is declared completed. The person arranging the evacuation likely won’t remain with the casualties for the entire journey. Standardized means of relaying critical patient and mission information are required to make the process work as efficiently as possible given that a medical evacuation is required.

    What Is In A 9-Line MEDEVAC Request

    The U.S. Army official site lists the following as the contents of current Line 9 MEDEVAC Requests. What follows is reproduced from the blank Line 9 form. The details are filled out at request time. You also can find a fillable PDF version of the 9 Line MEDEVAC Request online.

    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

    Written by Joe Wallace

    Joe Wallace is a 13-year veteran of the United States Air Force and a former reporter for Air Force Television News.