Monitoring & Preparedness
Chest "rigs" or harnesses have been used by the military for a long time. Though they look a little different then the rigs below, review any picture of any operators in the middle east wars. The chest rigs they use carry vital pieces of equipment they need in a hurry- mainly extra magazines and ammo. The theory is keep what you need very quickly in front of you at your finger tips, vs. on your back in a small pack. It also leaves your back free and clear to carry heavy items in larger packs, and opens up a wide array of hydration pack options as well.
I have had the same chest rig for 16 years, though I have added to my collection, my original rig is still in use. These rigs are widely used within the National Ski Patrol, Homeland Security, Emergency Management, Urban Search and Rescue and within many other Federal Agencies. Conterra Radio Chest Harnesses are some of the best available. They are really bomb proof pieces of gear in my opinion. All the seams are double stitched, made in the USA and the clips are as high quality as you can get. They are fully adjustable too- so if you are a skinny-mini or large and in-charge.....they fit well and are comfortable for long periods of time. This is also handy so that you can adjust it when you are wearing it close to your body, or over a number of jackets depending on your mission. The basics of these chest rigs is that they provide you a adjustable slot for your radio (issued when you are on deployment), as well as a secure pouch to hold some critical "stuff". The radio spot is actually so adjustable, it can be sinched down to hold a GPS unit, or made larger to accommodate some of the older VHF/UHF radios that are still kicking around.
You may look at the original Adjusta-Pro "Radio Chest Harness" which has the adjustable radio pouch and a velcro sealed pocket next to it to hold your "stuff". In here you can keep copies of critical documents, a pad/pens, multi tools etc. Its not just a large open compartment either...it has nice elastic loops inside to hold back scissors, pens etc.... I remember during the Katrina/Rita/Wilma deployment, one thing I always wanted to have handy was my spork. It fit perfect! Under the vertical main pouch and radio slot, you will also find two horizontal small pouches as well. One I keep a small Surefire G3, the other a set of batteries for it.
Another alternative to the original radio harness is the "Tool Chest Radio Chest Harness". This is identical to the original, but the storage pouch is much bigger...In my opinion it is much more useful to have the extra space. It will fit tons of goodies. You can keep your basic medical gear, head lamp, a small flashlight, papers, documents, Pens, Sharpie markers (a must for deployment) multi tools- maybe even a coiled up stethoscope. In my opinion, the Tool Chest Rig is most appropriate for what we do.
Original Adjusta-Pro Radio Chest Harness: http://www.conterra-inc.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=8
Tool Chest Radio Chest Harness: http://www.conterra-inc.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=10
Two neat accessories I like for the chest rigs are also listed below.
The Roo Pouch securely hangs below the chest rig giving you added cargo room.
The Transceiver Pouch mounts to the side of the chest rig- designed to give ski patrollers a spot for the avalanche beacon. It is just as handy to have this added storage for a GPS device, or simple medical supplies such as gloves, tape, trauma shears or gauze.
DMAT Gear Junkie