RollTek for Ambulance FAQs


1. How does RollTek work in ambulances?
A roll sensor continuously monitors ambulance stability. When an imminent rollover is detected, the system deploys side airbags in the CPR and attendant positions to cushion the heads and necks of EMS personnel riding in the patient compartment.

2. Where is the roll sensor located?
The roll sensor can be located in various locations in the vehicle, depending on the ambulance manufacturer. The roll sensor itself is about the size of a VHS tape and is labeled with a visible warning label that warns of the risks of mishandling the sensor while under power and connected to the safety devices.

3. What fills the airbag?
RollTek airbags fill with a non-toxic gas mixture comprised mostly of argon.


1. Where are airbags mounted?
Airbags can be mounted in various places within the patient compartment, in locations that optimize head and neck protection.

2. How long does it take the RollTek components to deploy?
The entire process from activation to deployment takes less than a quarter of a second (.234).

3. How does the roll sensor know when to activate the airbags?
The roll sensor deploys airbags based on the vehicle’s angular position and the angular rate, defined as how quickly the vehicle is moving through the 90-degree roll. When an imminent rollover is detected, RollTek deploys.

4. Will the RollTek system deploy in a frontal or side impact collision?
The side roll protection system is not designed to deploy during a frontal or side impact crash.


1. Will the system work if an EMS worker is not wearing a seat belt?
Yes, the system will deploy regardless of whether occupants are wearing seat belts. Three-point seat belts, engineered as an integral part of the RollTek system, not only act as a primary restraining device, but also serve the function of positioning the occupant to impact the airbag in a rollover.

Although an unbelted passenger may be afforded some protection by the airbags, unrestrained occupants are not safe in a crash, and it is important that all vehicle occupants are seated and belted at all times.

2. How do I know if my RollTek system is operating properly?
During normal operation, the roll sensor constantly monitors the status of each component of the RollTek system. If the sensor determines that something is not right, a fault light will be illuminated to notify the driver that a potential problem exists. When the fault light is illuminated, a factory-trained service technician must check the system. A RollTek diagnostic tool is now available that reads all roll sensor faults and displays them in a graphical format. For more information on this diagnostic tool, call (866) 765-5835.

3. If my ambulance has been in a rollover will I need to replace the RollTek system?
For your own safety, RollTek components are designed for one use. If your vehicle is involved in a rollover, the RollTek system and seat belts must be replaced. Do not attempt to repair or restore any damaged components yourself.

Availability/Service Life

1. How much does the RollTek system cost?
The cost of the system varies by manufacturer. Please contact your vehicle manufacturer for more information.

2. Which ambulance manufacturers offer RollTek-equipped ambulances?
Today Horton offers ambulances equipped with RollTek.

3. How long have RollTek-equipped vehicles been in the field?
RollTek-equipped fire apparatus have been available since June of 2003.

4. Can RollTek be retrofitted into older vehicles?
At this time, RollTek cannot be retrofitted in ambulances.

5. What is the service life of RollTek?
The RollTek system has a 20-year service life. Contact the manufacturer of your vehicle for more warranty information.