The Coney Island Ambulance Station

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After viewing the success of the nations first municipal ambulance service at Bellevue Hospital, the Common Council of the City of Brooklyn set aside the sum of $4,600 to fund two ambulances.The first municipal ambulance in The City of Brooklyn began in August 1873 at Long Island College Hospital. This ambulance was owned by the Department of Health and staffed by surgeons from the hospital. Its horses were rented and housed in a stable on Pacific Street. In October of that year, the citys' second ambulance began service at Eastern District Hospital on South 3rd Street.

In 1875, a year after Charles Feltman introduced the hot dog at Coney Island, a first aid station was established by the beach at West 3rd Street to meet the emergency medical needs of the huge summer beach crowds. Open only during the summer months, this first aid station eventually grew into The Coney Island Reception Hospital.

Recognizing the need for additional service, the City of Brooklyn Department of Health initiated ambulance service at the Reception Hospital in June 1894. During its first season, the ambulance responded to 152 calls. By 1907 the ambulance was responding to over 600 calls per summer season.

Six months after Brooklyn is consolidated into the City of New York, on July 1,1898, Kings County Hospital began ambulance service to the majority of central and southern Brooklyn. When called, it was not uncommon for this ambulance to take 50 minutes to make the 8 mile trip to Sheepshead Bay or Coney Island. The ambulance of Norwegian Hospital in Bay Ridge also responded to the seashore communities, often making trips up to 10 miles

  The Reception Hospital soon outgrew its meager facilities, and in 1904 a new 6 bed, two story emergency hospital was erectedon the northwest corner of Sea Breeze Avenue and West 2 Street (where 205 Seabreeze Avenue stands today), still staffed only during the summer season from April to October.

A stable behind the hospital provided quarters for the horses and ambulance.

 Circa 1910


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Circa 1910



            Mayor LaGuardia inspects new ambulance.August 1,1935