Tactical signs

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Tactical signs are symbols of authorities and organizations with security tasks - i.e. the police , fire brigade and rescue services as well as in civil and disaster protection - for the symbolic representation of tactical elements on situation maps, operational plans and strength reports . They developed from the military symbols , which were previously also called tactical signs .


In Germany, the first binding specification of tactical signs in the field of civil protection and disaster control was the service regulation of the air raid aid service LSHD-DV 11 "Tactical signs in civil defense" from 1968. It was largely based on the central service regulation 1/11 of the Bundeswehr . For the Federal Border Police (BGS), today the Federal Police (BPOL), GDV 215 "Tactical signs for the Federal Border Guard" had been in effect since 1961, which was replaced in 1969 by the police service regulation PDV 102, which was also only valid for the BGS. In 1978, both the LSHD-Dv 11 as well as the PDV 102 replaced by the police service regulation / service regulation PDV / DV 102 “Tactical signs”. A year later, the DIN standard 14 034, part 1 “Graphic symbols for fire services; Units, vehicles, facilities ”.

The PDV / DV 102 was updated in 1986 by a new version, which contained essential extensions especially for the area of ​​disaster control. This uniform regulation for the authorities and organizations with security tasks (BOS) was valid until February 9, 1995. Since then, the police department has its own PDV 102 again. The organizations involved in disaster control ( Arbeiter-Samariter-Bund , Deutsche Lebens-Rettungs-Gesellschaft , German Red Cross , fire brigades , Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe , Malteser Hilfsdienst , technical relief organization ) continued to adhere to the previous PDV / DV 102 as far as possible after 1995. According to a draft in 2003, the Standing Conference for Disaster Risk Management and Protection (SKK) has had recommendations for tactical signs in civil protection for a cross-organizational DV 102 for the area of Disaster control. These have already been taken over internally by the Technical Relief Organization, the German Red Cross and the Malteser Aid Service.

Tactical signs are used by the police and in disaster control to represent situation maps, operational plans and strength reports. Command vehicles can, for example, also be equipped with a writable magnetic board (whiteboard), on which a continuously updatable situation map can be kept with the help of prefabricated magnetic characters and wipeable pens.


The tactical symbols used by the police and in civil protection are similar in structure to the symbols used in the military sector described above. They consist of a basic character and

  • an order of magnitude symbol above the basic symbol
  • one or more additional characters in the basic character to indicate the specialist service (use and equipment)
  • written information to the right of the basic symbol indicating the origin and designation of the unit
  • numerical information under the basic symbol to indicate the strength
  • Time information to the left of the basic symbol
  • a basic color to identify the organization affiliation.

Basic characters

Most of the basic symbols are identical to the basic symbols used in the military sector. Some examples of basic symbols used by the police and in civil protection are:

Basic characters meaning
TZ PERS.svg person
TZ GF.svg Unit / sub-unit / association / agency / authority / organization
Cercle noir 100% .svg Facility / location / facility / object
TZ HAUS.svg building
TZ BS.svg General measure
TZ EE.svg Danger from ...

Signs of magnitude

Signs of magnitude are drawn over the basic symbol and indicate the strength of a unit.

character designation
TZ TRP.svg Squad
TZ TRP.svg
TZ TRP.svg
TZ GRP.svg group
TZ ZUG.svg train
TZ KOMP.svg Readiness (Association I)
TZ BAT.svg Department (Association II)
TZ REG.svg Large Association (Association III)
character designation
* Municipality / city belonging to a district
* * District / urban district
* * * Administrative district
* * * * State / Free State
* * * * * Federal Republic of Germany
* *
* *
* *
European Union

Professional service mark

Additional symbols in the basic symbol indicate that a unit, person or vehicle belongs to a specialist service. They are generally drawn so that they touch the basic character at its edges.

Examples of professional service marks:

Technical groups of the THW are represented by letter abbreviations, for example

  • W = water hazards
  • BrB = bridge construction
  • FK = leadership and communication


Executives of units are represented by the basic symbol for persons with the corresponding specialist service symbol and the size symbol of the corresponding unit. In the case of leaders of a unit, the top tip of the diamond is also colored (without this marking: deputy leader). The head of operations is represented by the person symbol with a painted tip and the indication “EL” in the symbol, the emergency doctor in charge by the addition “LNA” in the person symbol with a painted tip.


The affiliation to a unit, person or vehicle can either be indicated in writing to the right of the basic symbol or by the basic color of the symbol. The following color assignment applies:

Base color Organization / establishment
red fire Department
blue technical aid organization
White Aid organizations ( ASB , DLRG , DRK , JUH , MHD )
yellow Guide facilities
green police
White Bundeswehr (as an aid contingent)
orange Other organizations / institutions



  • Thomas Mitschke: Tactical signs in danger prevention. 4th updated edition. Verlagsgesellschaft Stumpf & Kossendey, Edewecht 2003, ISBN 3-932750-92-6
  • Jürgen Bittger: Major accidents and disasters: deployment tactics and organization . Verlag Schattauer, Stuttgart 1996, ISBN 3-7945-1712-1
  • Thomas Mitzschke: Tactical signs in defense . 2. revised and updated edition. Verlag Stumpf & Kossendey, Edewecht 1998, ISBN 3-923124-83-X
  • Kurt-Werner Seidel, Joachim Hahn, Horst Zacher: Terms, symbols, graphic symbols of the German fire service, 3rd edition . Verlag W. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1994, ISBN 978-3-17-010626-0 .
  • Abbreviations in correspondence, tactical and technical signs for the fire service (ATTZ) . Austrian Federal Fire Brigade Association , specialist publication no.10. Self-published, Vienna 1990
  • Tactical signs in practice, deployment and training , teaching aids. Austrian Red Cross , Upper Austria Regional Association

Web links

Commons : Tactical signs  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Tactical signs - proposal for a regulation DV 102. (PDF; 329 kB) Standing Conference on Disaster Risk Management and Disaster Protection, January 1, 2012, accessed on December 21, 2018 .