The new Arnhold Emergency Department at New Milford Hospital has taken its first bows.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by about 300 hundred served Friday, May 8 as the state-of-the-art, 11,000-square-foot facility's initiation to the public.

An open house for the public to tour the department was also scheduled Wednesday, May 13.

The department is expected to be in operation soon thereafter.

Among the speakers at the ribbon-cutting ceremony were Dr. Tom Koobatian, the hospital's executive director and director of emergency services, and Daniel DeBarba, the president of New Milford and Danbury hospitals.

Among the throng on hand were many members of the greater New Milford area's emergency personnel.

"The department was designed in collaboration with S.L.A.M., architects that specialize in emergency department and hospital design," said Koobatian.

He said the "home run" is having 12 private patient rooms where privacy and infection control are easily maintained.

Technology is all state of the art, Koobatian noted, with monitors and computers on the same system as Danbury Hospital, with patient medical records from both hospitals and all WCHN medical offices available.

Greg Bollard of Bridgewater's community ambulance corps, met with hospital administration as part of an EMS advisory panel.

"No corners were cut in the emergency department's design or construction," Bollard said. "Nobody puts on their calendar that they're going to the emergency room, but whether they need acute care or primary care, they want to have the best experience possible and this emergency department should provide that."

Norm Cummings and Susan Tuz contributed to the story.