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Emergency Services

Emergency Medical Services for Tulare County

If you have been traumatically injured in a car crash, a fall, or some type of accident, etc. in Tulare County, you want to receive care within 60 minutes, also known as the golden hour. Kaweah Health Medical Center is the only level III trauma center from Bakersfield to Fresno and we are proud to hold this accreditation from the American College of Surgeons (ACS) Committee on Trauma.

This designation ensures that patients receive 24/7 coverage and availability by emergency medicine physicians, general surgeons, and anesthesiologists, ensuring better outcomes for trauma patients. With over 1,200 trauma patients admitted every year, and close to 2,500 patients seen in our Emergency Department, our trauma team voluntarily seeks this accreditation, further ensuring our healthcare system is able to provide this advanced care to patients with emergent needs.

Emergency and Trauma Services

A designated Level III Trauma Center, Kaweah Health Medical Center provides 24-hour emergency care for illness and injury. The Medical Center is staffed 24 hours a day with a team of in-house trauma surgeons, anesthesiologists, physician specialists, a full trauma support team and contracted staffing provided by California Emergency Physicians (CEP).

Kaweah Health Medical Center provides comprehensive Emergency Medical care to patients suffering from critical and life-threatening illnesses and injuries. The Emergency Department treats over 80,000 patients each year from Tulare, Kings and surrounding counties, making it one of the busiest Emergency care facilities in California.

F.A.S.T. ER = Fast Assessment and Streamline Treatment in the ED

F.A.S.T. track process

As a patient comes into the Emergency Department (ED) they will be greeted, quickly registered and assessed. The patient will be taken back to the triage area where their medical team will decide their plan of care. For non-English speaking patients Medical Interpreters are available.

Family members will be asked to wait in the lobby during this process. Family members or care takers will be allowed with children and patients that need assistance. Having families wait in the lobby will minimize the confusion in the ED.

In the triage area the care process will begin. Blood tests, x-rays, etc. will be ordered if needed and the patient will be placed in a treatment chair in the ED hallway unless it is determined that a bed is needed. After test results are back, the physician will determine if the patient can go home or will be admitted for further care.


Kaweah Health’s Level III Trauma Center opened in 2009 with the goal of improving the medical care of patients with critical and/or multi-system injuries. Since that time the center has greatly expanded its size and scope of services. Patient care is a coordinated effort between surgery, nursing and ancillary services, and we strive to deliver it efficiently and seamlessly, using the more current knowledge, in our effort to save lives.

A newly-constructed helipad began operation in the summer of 2013 to facilitate transfers to and from Kaweah Health, ensuring the most expedient and appropriate care to trauma victims. “Installation of a helipad at Kaweah Health will have far reaching effects on the residents of the region,” said Kaweah Health Director of Trauma, Dr. Nicole Meissner. “It will enable residents to have access to medical care faster than ever before. Treatment in the first hour has a significant impact on survival, especially when it comes to trauma. Because of this, the helipad will make our community safer for everyone”.

Medical Interpreters

Medical Interpreters and interpreting services are available on an ongoing basis to assist the culturally diverse populations we serve in the hospital.

Medical Interpreters are available to help patients communicate with hospital and clinic staff.

Call the Interpreter Services Department at (559) 624-5902 or (559) 624-5981 for assistance.

Images: Kaweah Health Acequia Wing New Ambulance Bay, 0559

New Emergency Department Expansion (Completed Spring of 2021)