Prior to Y2K, Phelps had already made in-depth reviews of emergency preparedness operations and had begun construction of its free-standing Decontamination Unit. Phelps conducted the first biological and chemical decontamination drill in Westchester County (perhaps the first in New York State) in November of 2001. Chemicals, radiological materials or biological toxins can be washed off of as many as 40 people per hour in the free-standing Decontamination Unit.
People who are contaminated and are also ill or injured can be brought directly into the Emergency Department’s Decontamination Suite. Each of the two decon rooms has a door that can be opened from the outside and a ventilation system that is separate from the hospital’s system. The patient can be decontaminated in one of the decon rooms and then brought into the Emergency Department for treatment with confidence that any threat of contaminating other patients in the Emergency Department has been eliminated.