CD V-777 Kit for Emergency Service Organizations

For additional information about the various CD V-777 sets, go to the General Information section.

The FY 1961 annual statistical report of the Office of Civil and Defense Mobilization (OCDM) indicated that the CD V-777 set was originally intended to be used for operations at monitoring stations. However, by 1978 when the Defense Civil Preparedness Agency document  Radiological Defense Preparedness ( CPG 2-6.1) was published, that role had been taken over by the CD V-777A sets, and the CD V-777 had become the "standard set recommended for emergency service and vital facility self-protection monitoring." 

According to the 1991 FEMA publication CPG 2-2, Use of Civil Defense Radiological Instruments for Peacetime Radiological Emergencies the CD V-777 "is the standard operational civil defense set that the States and localities provide to emergency service organizations for self-protection radiological monitoring, This set is the one most readily available since it is already in the possession of those most likely to be first at the scene of an accident involving radioactive materials."  

The photo to the left shows an early version of the CD V-777 cardboard box (14.5"  x 12.5"  x 11"). That "OCDM" is stamped on it indicates that it dates from 1961, the first year that these sets were issued. The red lettering on the sides reads: "Fragile! Electronic Instruments."

The instruments that I found in this box were an Anton CD V-700 Model 5, a Victoreen CD V-710 Model 3, and a Victoreen CD V-720 Model 2. Probably the originals, possibly not.

The following two photos show the more recent (and common) versions of the CD V-777 boxes.

Size: 12"  x  14"  x  7"

Size: 12"  x  14"  x  9"

The box above left is the earlier of the two, and probably dates from the time when the CD V-777 set was employed for operational use at monitoring stations. Similarly, I suspect that the box above right was produced at a later date when the CD V-777 was intended for use by emergency service personnel.

CPG 2-2 and CPG 2-6.1 specify the recommended composition of the CD V-777 set as: one CD V-700 GM detector, two CD V-715 ion chambers, six CD V-742 pocket dosimeters and one CD V-750 charger-reader.  

Note that these descriptions are of a later version of the CD V-777 set.    The original composition of the CD V-777 set is described in the OCDM's FY 1961 annual statistical report as follows: "OCDM is furnishing each monitoring station at the Federal, State and local levels with an operational kit of materials (CD V-777) containing three survey meters, two dosimeters, a dosimeter charger and two protective masks.  To date, OCDM has granted to the States 514 kits and transferred to Federal agencies 5 kits."  The following year, the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) FY 1962 annual report stated "The Office of Civil Defense has furnished each of the civilian Federal monitoring stations an instrument kit containing 3 survey meters, 2 dosimeters, and a dosimeter charger (see fig. 13) and 2 protective masks."  Figure 13 identifies these instruments as one CD V-700 GM detector, one CD V-710 ion chamber, one CD V-720 ion chamber, one CD V-730 pocket dosimeter, one CD V-740 pocket dosimeter, and one CD V-750 charger-reader.  The OCD FY 1962 report contains the last reference that I have found to the inclusion of the two gas masks in the kit. 

By late 1962 or early 1963, the CD V-730 and CD V-740 dosimeters in the original set began to be replaced with two CD V-742 dosimeters.  In addition, the CD V-710 and CD V-720 survey meters had been replaced by two CD V-715s.   The photograph of the CD V-777 kit in the OCD FY 1963 annual report shows two CD V-715 ion chambers, one CD V-700 GM, two CD V-742 dosimeters and one CD V-750 dosimeter charger. Then, in 1978 according to CPG 2-6.1, six CD V-742 dosimeters began to be issued in each set.

The following text from CPG 1-30 Guide for the Design and Development of a Local Radiological Defense Support System (1981) provides a nice summary of the capabilities that the CD V-777 should provide the emergency services self-protection monitoring system:

"Self-Protection Radiological Monitoring Capability - for monitoring and assessing the radiological environment in order to control the radiation exposure of personnel who must conduct emergency operations in a fallout radiation environment. This capability is required for personnel in emergency services organizations; at vital facilities, including hospitals, utilities, and essential industries; and for the large number of additional emergency workers who would be required for post attack recovery operations. It is necessary to:

  - Evaluate the radiation risks of proposed operations

  - Maintain individual exposure records of emergency workers

  - Measure actual exposure rates at the location where emergency operations are being conducted to confirm or revise estimates

  - Evaluate how long personnel can work without exceeding established exposure limits

  - Measure the actual radiation exposures of personnel performing emergency operations"


The above figure, from the 1962 OCD Annual Report, shows the types of instruments in the first version of the CD V-777 set. However, the actual instruments in the set would not have been the very early models shown in the picture .

The following figure, from the 1963 OCD Annual Report, shows the second version of the CD V-777.

Estimated Cumulative Distribution of Operational CD V-777 Sets to State and Federal Monitoring Stations*

FY 1961 514
FY 1962 14,577
FY 1963 30,772 (approved)
FY 1964 35,743
FY 1965 41,991
FY 1966 58,062**
FY 1967 63,143**
FY 1968 65,833**
FY 1969 67,622
FY 1970 71,042
FY 1971 72,079
FY 1972 72848
FY 1973 73,759
FY 1974 73,759
* After 1964, these numbers probably include the CD V-777A sets as well as the CD V-777 sets. Unfortunately the OCD and DCPA statistics are for "operational sets"   -   they do not separate the smaller CD V-777A numbers from the data for the CD V-777s.

**The number of monitoring stations - this is also assumed to be indicative of the number of CD V-777 sets issued.


CD V-777 set donated by the State of Wisconsin courtesy of Michael Mack


Defense Civil Preparedness Agency. Radiological Defense Preparedness. CPG 2-6.1. April 1978.

Federal Emergency Management Agency. Guide for the Design and Development of a Local Radiological Defense Support System. CPG 1-30. June 1981.

Federal Emergency Management Agency. Use of Civil Defense Radiological Instruments for Peacetime Radiological Emergencies. CPG 2-2. 1991.


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Last updated: 05/24/11
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