Probably the most important thing for a young solider to learn is how to properly call in a Nine-Line Medevac request for serious or life-threatening injuries. In these circumstances every second counts, so there’s just not enough time to learn on the job. Protect your battle buddies by studying the Nine-Line Medevac request form regularly.  Commit it to memory, and always keep a copy written on a nearby reference!

Also, here’s just one more thought to keep in mind:  Try to keep your radio traffic brief so that you don’t tie up the entire frequency.  Other people might need to put out critical information such as the location of the enemy.  Get in the habit of opening the microphone every two or three lines or so, just in case the dispatchers need to confirm your information.

Line 1- Your first information needs to be the location of the pickup site.  It’s important to put this out first, so that helicopters can start scrambling and heading your way as soon as possible. Make sure to give exact GPS coordinates if you can, but don’t forget that any route names or landmarks will be a big help too.

Line 2- The next information to pass along is your radio frequency and issued call sign, along with the proper suffix.  The command center needs to know exactly which unit they’re dealing with so that they can notify your chain of command as soon as possible.

Line 3- Next, provide information on the number of patients that need to be transported.  If you’re not sure whether someone’s injuries are severe enough to require transport, go ahead and list them anyway.  List each person off according to the severity of their wounds:

A - Urgent
B - Urgent Surgical
C – Priority Transport
D - Routine
E - Convenience

Line 4- Next, take a few seconds to list any special medical equipment that might be needed. The flight crew and the medics will start preparing their gear while they’re in the air and en route to your location.

A - None
B - Hoist
C - Extraction equipment required
D - Ventilator

Line 5- Next, state the number of casualties that require air transport. List them off in order of how well they can move:

A - Litter (needs to be carried)
B - Ambulatory (can walk unassisted)

Line 6- Now that you’ve gotten out information on the casualties, it’s important to think of the safety of the flight crew.  Your next transmission should describe the security of your location:

N – There are no enemy troops in area
P – There are possibly enemy troops in area (approach with caution)
E – Confirmed enemy troops in area (approach with caution)
X – Confirmed enemy troops in area (armed escort required)

NOTE:  During times of peace, Line 6 is used to list the type and number of wounds. This isn’t an excuse to get long-winded, though:  Remember, every second counts.

Line 7- Describe your method of marking the pick-up site.

A - Panels
B - Pyrotechnic signal
C – Colored smoke signal
D - None
E - Other

One more note from my experience: if you're using colored smoke as your signaling device, don't tell the color over the radio. You should let the helicopter pilot sees the smoke, then confirm that he's at the right place by stating the color to you.  Remember, it’s quite possible to have several Medevac transports going on at the same time in one single Area of Operations

Line 8- Quickly now, list the patients' nationality and status in priority order:

A - US military
B - US civilian
C - Non-US military
D - Non-US civilian
E - Enemy prisoner of war (EPW)

Line 9- Last, describe any possible Nuclear, Biological, or Chemical (NBC) contamination around your location.  Use the letters for the appropriate threat.

N - Nuclear
B - Biological
C – Chemical

The actual Nine-Line Medevac form states that in peacetime, this line should be used to deliver a brief description of the terrain at the landing site. However, you should always be aware of any radiation or chemical contamination concerns.  Make sure to relay any hazards to your flight crew so that they can plan accordingly and protect themselves.