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Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting Communications

Section 5. Aircraft Rescue and

Fire Fighting Communications

6−5−1. Discrete Emergency Frequency

a. Direct contact between an emergency aircraft

flight crew, Aircraft Rescue and Fire Fighting

Incident Commander (ARFF IC), and the Airport

Traffic Control Tower (ATCT), is possible on an

aeronautical radio frequency (Discrete Emergency

Frequency [DEF]), designated by Air Traffic

Control (ATC) from the operational frequencies

assigned to that facility.

b. Emergency aircraft at airports without an

ATCT, (or when the ATCT is closed), may contact the

ARFF IC (if ARFF service is provided), on the

Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF)

published for the airport or the civil emergency

frequency 121.5 MHz.

6−5−2. Radio Call Signs
Preferred radio call sign for the ARFF IC is

“(location/facility)  Command” when communica-

ting with the flight crew and the FAA ATCT.


LAX Command.

Washington Command.

6−5−3. ARFF Emergency Hand Signals
In the event that electronic communications cannot

be maintained between the ARFF IC and the flight

crew, standard emergency hand signals as depicted in

FIG 6−5−1 through FIG 6−5−3 should be used. These

hand signals should be known and understood by all

cockpit and cabin aircrew, and all ARFF firefighters.

FIG 6−5−1

Recommend Evacuation

FIG 6−5−2

Recommend Stop