MOLLE, which stands for Modular Lightweight Load-carrying Equipment, is a versatile system used by various professionals, including wildland firefighters, to attach and organize gear and equipment to their fire pack. It provides a flexible and customizable solution for carrying essential items while ensuring quick access and ease of use in dynamic and challenging environments.
Wildland firefighters face unique challenges in their line of work, often operating in remote and rugged terrain. The MOLLE system allows firefighters to securely attach firefighting gear to their packs, ensuring they have readily available tools during fire suppression operations.
With a MOLLE system, wildland firefighters can attach a wide range of items to their packs, including but not limited to:
– Water bottles and hydration systems
Staying hydrated is crucial during strenuous firefighting activities, and MOLLE attachments can accommodate water bottles or hydration bladders to ensure a constant supply of fluids.
– Fire shelters
Firefighters carry fire shelters for emergency situations. These lightweight and compact fire shelters can be easily attached to the MOLLE system for quick access and deployment when needed.
– Hand tools
Items like axes, pulaskis, shovels, and McLeods are essential firefighting tools. MOLLE-compatible tool carriers allow firefighters to securely attach these tools to their packs, keeping them easily accessible during operations.
– Radio holsters
Communication is vital in wildland firefighting, and MOLLE radio holsters provide a secure and convenient way to carry two-way radios, enabling quick communication between team members.
– First Aid Kits
MOLLE attachments can be used to carry first aid kits or medical supplies, ensuring firefighters have immediate access to necessary medical equipment in case of injuries or emergencies.
Attaching Items to MOLLE
Take the following steps to attach firefighting gear to a MOLLE system properly.
– Prepare the gear
Ensure the gear you want to attach has compatible MOLLE straps or loops. Many firefighting-specific equipment items come with MOLLE-compatible attachment points.
– Weave the straps
Insert the straps or attachments on the gear through the MOLLE loops. Start from the bottom or the sides and weave them through, creating a secure connection. Ensure the gear is snugly attached without excess movement.
– Test the attachment
Give the gear a gentle tug to check the stability of the attachment. Make sure it’s securely fastened and won’t come loose during movement.
Tips For Using MOLLE
Use the following tips for optimizing MOLLE systems.
– Prioritize organization
Plan the arrangement of your gear according to the frequency of use and importance. Keep frequently used items within easy reach to save time and effort during operations.
– Balance the load
Distribute the weight evenly across the pack to maintain balance and prevent strain on one side of the body. This will help with stability and overall comfort during long hours of work.
– Consider accessibility
Place essential items such as water bottles, fire shelters, and communication devices in easily accessible locations. This ensures quick access to critical gear in high-pressure situations.
– Regularly inspect attachments
Before each use, inspect the MOLLE attachments and connections to ensure they are secure and in good condition. Replace any worn-out or damaged straps or loops to maintain the reliability of the system.
Popular MOLLE Items for Wildland Firefighters
Many items feature MOLLE systems, such as radio holsters, wildland packs, chest harnesses, and REM packs. Here are just a few:
MOLLE Chest Harness
The MOLLE Chest Harness features a MOLLE attachment system on the front panel, allowing for easy customization and secure attachment of gear. This chest harness is made from durable materials and ensures reliability and longevity in demanding environments.
The MOLLE system provides multiple attachment points, enabling firefighters to carry essential tools and equipment within easy reach. It allows for the attachment of items such as fire shelters, radios, hand tools, and first aid kits. The versatile harness design ensures optimal weight distribution and comfort during long work hours.
MOLLE Radio Holster
The MOLLE Radio Holster is a convenient accessory that offers a secure and accessible storage solution for two-way radios. Built with MOLLE compatibility, this holster can be easily attached to MOLLE webbing on backpacks or chest harnesses, providing quick and reliable access to communication devices.
Constructed from rugged materials, the MOLLE Radio Holster ensures durability and protection for the radio during wildland firefighting operations. It features adjustable straps and a secure closure system to keep the radio securely in place, even during rigorous activities. The holster allows for easy insertion and removal of the radio, ensuring efficient communication between team members.
Mystery Ranch Hotshot Pack
The Mystery Ranch Hotshot Pack is specifically designed for wildland firefighters who require a durable and functional backpack to carry their gear in demanding environments. This pack incorporates a MOLLE system, providing versatile attachment options for additional equipment and accessories.
The pack is constructed from high-quality materials, including fire-resistant fabric, ensuring durability and protection in dangerous conditions. The suspension system is designed to provide comfort and stability, even when carrying heavy loads. Adjustable shoulder straps, a waist belt, and a sternum strap enhance the pack’s ergonomics and support.
Mystery Ranch Plus REM Pack
The Mystery Ranch Plus REM (Rapid Entry Module) Pack is a specialized wildland firefighting pack that offers enhanced functionality for rapid response and quick access to gear. This pack incorporates the MOLLE system, allowing firefighters to customize the attachment of tools and equipment.
The Plus REM Pack features a unique tri-zip design that allows rapid and easy access to the main compartment, providing efficient organization and retrieval of gear. It offers a total capacity of approximately 1,464 cubic inches (24 liters), providing ample space for essential items.
True North Fireball Wildland Pack Gen 2
The True North Fireball Wildland Pack Gen 2 is a streamlined, teardrop-shaped pack designed for wildland firefighting. It offers a superior ergonomic support harness and features a true MOLLE system on the hip belt, allowing for easy customization with MOLLE accessories.
With a capacity of 1200 cu in, it provides ample storage space for firefighting gear. It includes features such as a 100oz (3L) hydration pocket, a removable New Generation Fire Shelter case, side pockets for 1L bottles, and a 12 fusee carrying capacity.
The pack meets the NFPA 1977 certification, ensuring its compliance with industry standards, and is a reliable companion for firefighters in challenging wildland environments.
True North Spyder Gear Wildland Pack Gen 2
The True North Spyder Gear Wildland Pack Gen 2 is a highly versatile pack designed for wildland firefighting. It features the hybrid Spyder Gear attachment system, allowing for true MOLLE attachment while remaining compatible with the ALICE system.
The pack includes a small gear bag for carrying essential items and offers superior ergonomic comfort with its new hip belt and harness. It is compatible with all MOLLE accessories and fire shelter attachments.
The Cal Fire Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Working Group approves the pack and is NFPA 1977 Certified. The True North Spyder Gear Wildland Pack Gen 2 is a reliable and functional pack for wildland firefighters.
In conclusion, MOLLE systems offer wildland firefighters a versatile and customizable solution for optimizing their fire packs. Securely attaching and organizing essential gear and equipment is crucial in dynamic and challenging environments.
By utilizing MOLLE attachments, such as radio holsters, tool carriers, and fire shelter cases, firefighters can ensure quick access to critical items during fire suppression operations. Proper use of MOLLE systems, including balancing the load, prioritizing organization, and regularly inspecting attachments, enhances functionality and efficiency.
With MOLLE systems, firefighters can optimize their fire packs to meet the demands of their challenging profession.