The Coney Island Ambulance Station

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About Us - The Hospital
Excerpt from CONEY ISLAND HOSPITAL – HISTORICAL NOTE by Bernard B Nadell, M.D, F.A.C.H.A.
                                                                                                       Yesterday     and       Today

In 1875, Coney Island Hospital had its beginnings in a First Aid Station located on the oceanfront beach near West Third Street where emergency treatment was given.  The cases consisted chiefly of lacerations of the feet caused by broken bottles.

            On May 12, 1902, a small wooden building, one and one half stories high, located on Sea Breeze Avenue, was rented to serve as an emergency hospital during the summer months.  Although referred to as the Sea Breeze Hospital, it was officially known as  Reception Hospital, and was actually an annex of the Kings County Hospital.  This unit had accommodations for 20 beds and facilities for emergency treatment.  Patients requiring surgery or prolonged treatment and care were taken to Kings County Hospital, about seven miles away, in a horse-drawn ambulance.

With the rapid growth of population in the southern part of Brooklyn, the need for a large and permanent hospital in this area, became apparent.

In 1908, construction of a 100 bed hospital was started on land purchased just north of Coney Island Creek and east of Ocean Parkway.  On May 18, 1910, dedication ceremonies were held.  Coney Island Hospital consisted of six buildings, namely; Main Hospital Building, Nurses Home, Employees Dormitory, Laboratory Building, Power Plant and Laundry Building.

Under the administration of Dr. Charles Durning, the first Medical Superintendent of the  Hospital, a children’s ward of 20 beds was added bringing the hospital bed capacity up to 120.  This was increased to 144 shortly thereafter.  Several minor changes were made between 1915 and 1920.

On August 1, 1927, ground was broken for the construction of a new Nurses Residence.  This was completed on May 28, 1928.  The Nurses Residence was a modern three-story structure containing 65 private single rooms, large reception room, dining hall and library.

In the Daily New of April 6, 1927, an item appeared indicating that Avenue Z was opened and paved from Ocean Parkway to 15th Street.  This street runs along the northern border of the hospital.  Up until this time, this area was a quagmire of mud and pools and was considered a menace to the health and well being of the community.

           During this period, Coney Island Creek (across the street from the hospital, along Ocean Parkway) was filled.  Up to this time, the salt-march mosquito which bred in this marsh, played havoc in the children’s wards of Coney Island Hospital.  The Board of Health finally took steps to clear up the swamp and marshlands adjacent to the hospital.

About Us- Webmaster


Mark J. Peck EMT-P 


    Mark Peck has been involved in EMS since 1973, when he joined the Ambulance Corps at the State University of NY at Stony Brook. Continuing this interest at home, he was a founding member, Training Officer, and then First Lieutenant of the Flatlands Volunteer Ambulance Corps in Brooklyn NY.

    He joined the New York City Emergency Medical Service in 1974 and graduated from the second NYC*EMS paramedic class in 1977. During those years he served as a paramedic preceptor, instructor, Lieutenant, and member of the departments Dignitary Protection Unit.

     He retired as the Senior Paramedic in the New York City Fire Department EMS Command after 31 years of service. He worked an additional 10 years with the Mecklenburg EMS Agency in Charlotte NC, and then 5 more years part time with EMS in York County, SC

    Mark has been interested in EMS history for many years, and has contributed material to the New York City EMS Museum, and the 2004 New York State Museum exhibit "Help is Here- A History of EMS in New York State".

    He previously served on the Board of Trustees, and was Director of the Virtual Museum, of the National EMS Museum Foundation.