Emergency Services


The Emergency Department at FirstLight Health System is ready 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Our experienced staff is here to care for you and your family any time there’s an emergency.

Our providers, nurses and technicians are skilled in treating seriously ill and injured patients. They will provide the best care for your needs. FirstLight Health System emergency services include ambulance service and 24/7 paramedic coverage. FirstLight Health System employs three full-time, board-certified Emergency Medicine physicians, as well as a number of Registered Nurses (certified in ACLS, TNCC, and APLS). Our emergency team also includes over 20 ambulance personnel, paramedics, and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs), plus specially-trained nurses and support personnel. The ambulance service has highly trained paramedics with the latest equipment and training. They are linked with emergency helicopter services to provide the most advanced emergency medical care possible.

Each situation the emergency department handles is unique and each individual receives the benefit of FirstLight Health System’s personalized approach to wellness.

The Emergency Services department at FirstLight Health System plays a critical role in ensuring that life-saving services are available in our community. The Emergency Services department works together with many other FirstLight Health System departments including Laboratory Services, Imaging Services, and Surgical Services.

FirstLight Health System recently became recognized by the Minnesota Department of Health as a designated trauma center. For a severely injured person, the time between sustaining an injury and receiving definitive care is the most important predictor of survival—the “golden hour.” The chance of survival diminishes with time; however, a trauma system enhances the chance of survival regardless of proximity to an urban trauma hospital. Through its designation FirstLight Health System recognizes the vital role that communities, ambulance services, hospitals and health care professionals play in the care and management of trauma patients.

What to expect when you arrive
When you arrive, a nurse will check your vital signs, evaluate your condition and ask about your health history. This process is called “triage,” a French word meaning “to sort by priority.” Using the triage process, patients are seen in order of severity of condition, or “the sickest person first.” This means that even though you may have arrived before another patient, the doctor may see the other patient first if his or her condition is worse.

We respect your time and know that waiting in the ER can be frustrating. We will try to keep you informed and aware of events as they are occurring. If you have any questions as you wait, our friendly admitting staff is happy to assist you.

We will review your discharge instructions with you before you leave the Emergency Department. Please feel free to ask questions if you do not understand the instructions.

We can help in arranging a follow-up appointment with your primary provider or a doctor recommended by one of our staff members. It is the patient’s responsibility to check their insurance plan for coverage.

FirstLight Health System is committed to providing the highest quality care and service to our community.