Safety is an important part of all of our lives. Whether it is a mother looking after her children or an employer making sure their employees are protected from hazards, safety is an ongoing concern. Ambulance manufacturers understand the importance of safety when it comes to building their new ambulances. These emergency vehicles are often perform a duty where time is of the essence, but the safe passage of both the crew, the patient , and the public is paramount. Engineers at these companies are constantly testing and evaluating their products with the hopes that new ambulances available for sale today are safer than their previous versions.
Over time, these new emergency vehicles become used ambulances. Pre-owned ambulances can present a whole new set of challenges when they are put back into service. From disregarding proper maintenance to normal “wear and tear” these units can become less safe than when they were sold by a new ambulance dealer. Global Emergency Vehicles recognizes this and that is why all of our vehicles go through our 125-point inspection before they are presented to the market as “refurbished used emergency vehicles”. We are an ambulance dealer who is committed to offering quality vehicles at a fair price and safety is a key component of our company.
One of the manufacturers of new ambulances with an excellent reputation for safety is Horton Emergency Vehicles. Horton was formed in 1968 and they were the first organization to build a van ambulance. By the mid – 1970′s they were building both Type I ad Type III models. It was about this time that they decided that safety was going to be one of the cornerstones of their operation. Horton put their new ambulances through a series of testing and evaluations and has made several outstanding innovations toward emergency vehicle safety.
The Horton Occupant Protection System (HOPS) is one of their most important contributions to the innovation process for the ambulances available on the market today. HOPS is made up of several safety features, that used in combination provide some of the best occupant protection in the industry. To show their customers how important safety is to the company, this system is not an upgrade, but instead it is the standard on all Horton Emergency Vehicles.
The first part of the system are seat belts. Horton employs a three-point belt system that has been tested to remain attached at 19,500 pounds. In addition, the seatbelts allow for an EMS worker to detach the over-the-shoulder portion while keeping the lap belt secured. This allows them the flexibility of movement while keeping them secure in the event of a crash or rollover.
The second part of HOPS are the airbags. By using test crash dummies and live testing, Horton has determined that occupant injury or even death would be quite possible in the event of impact or a rollover. With this in mind, the engineers at Horton have developed two types of airbags that are deployed. There is an inflatable head curtain that works alongside a tubular structure airbag that is used in tandem to protect the occupants in the attendant’s and CPR seat.
The final two pieces that make up HOPS are the Impact Wall and the Resistance Foam Padding. Through their testing Horton has determined that traditional ideas of padding and netting or “A” bars are not the most effective. Instead, Horton has developed a resistant foam padding that helps dissipate the energy over the surface area and reduces the force incurred on impact. The Impact Wall protects the occupant from injuries sustained by impact with the front wall cabinets.
With the HOPS system, Horton has separated itself from their competition by their commitment to safety. With our 125-point inspection and refurbishing, Global Emergency Vehicles separates our refurbished used ambulances from our competitor’s offerings. Safety will always play a large role in the Emergency Vehicles Industry and should be taken into consideration when purchasing a new or used emergency vehicle.