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Horton Occupant Protection System (HOPS)


Seatbelts are just the starting point in occupant safety, not the total solution. Industry standards require static pull tests to insure the belts stay attached, but dynamic testing is the only way to check the true effectiveness of a belt solution. Notice the large wiring harness coming from the Hybrid III test dummies in the picture on the right.

Horton’s detachable three-point harness system is used in conjunction with barrier seat bolsters to confine the occupant in fairly open spaces. The detachable feature on the over the shoulder portion of the harnesses on the squad bench and the CPR seat permits the EMT to move forward to access the patient without removing his seat belt.

Head Protection Cushion System

In addition to the inflatable cushion system, the HOPS system includes Horton’s new progressive resistance headrests at all squad bench and CPR seating positions. While traditional foam padding feels quite soft, tests show that severe headstrikes are transmitted completely through the foam padding, literally “bottoming out” on the mounting surface and offering very little protection.

Progressive resistance dissipates the energy throughout a laminated protective surface to eliminate the bottoming effect and offer additional protection much like that provided by high impact sports and racing helmets. Numerous combinations and materials were evaluated using high tech cannon fires at the test laboratory.


Early rollover testing revealed impact areas and pointed the way to the solution: a combination of airbags, advanced restraints and progressive resistance head protection. All three were repeatedly tested.

Two types of airbags are deployed in a side impact rollover collision: the Inflatable Head Curtain protects the attendant from the inhalation area cabinet. The Tubular Structure airbag is used with the attendant and the CPR seats for additional head protection.

HOPS Rollover Sensor

HOPS will not deploy during a frontal or side-impact crash. A roll sensor calculates both the angle of the vehicle and the speed at which it’s rolling to determine when to fire the airbag restraints.