Exclusively for IAFF members.
It’s okay to ask for help.

Treatment for successful recovery from substance abuse, PTSD and other co-occurring behavioral health issues.

In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the IAFF Center of Excellence has created some helpful resources for our patients and their families.

Our Center

The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery is a one-of-a-kind treatment facility specializing in PTSD for professional fire service members who struggle with trauma, substance use, addiction and other related behavioral health challenges. It is a safe haven for members to receive the help they need in taking the first steps toward recovery and share experiences with other members who have faced or overcome similar challenges.

gym and fitness center at IAFF

Thoughtful Design

Designed from the ground up with fire fighters in mind, the Center sits on a 15-acre campus and includes a state-of-the-art gym and other features that encourage physical activity to help in recovery and preparing to return to the job.
outdoor space at IAFF

Natural Serenity

Located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, just outside Washington, D.C., the IAFF Center is surrounded by lush pine forest and features onsite areas for reflection and enjoying nature’s healing powers.

members sitting at table at IAFF

Knowledgeable Staff

The IAFF Center is overseen by Craig L. Katz, M.D., who designed a program for first responders in the aftermath of 9/11, and Abby Morris, M.D., an expert in the behavioral healthcare field. We understand the rigors of your job, and know what it takes to help.

What Our Patients Say

Ronald Nlood
Ronald Nlood
20:55 19 Apr 21
To all firefighters, if you have even thought that you may possibly have a problem, Do yourself a favor please do not hesitate, contact your union president and start the process. It’s never too late. The food is excellent, the housing is comfortable, and there is a brother/Sisterhood like never before.
Reuben Miller
Reuben Miller
20:42 19 Apr 21
My stay was a great experience. I looked forward every night to getting up the next morning. A great experience and great people. Love you all.
Thomas Craven
Thomas Craven
17:37 18 Apr 21
The COE is an excellent place to go if you are a fire fighter looking for help. The staff is awesome and do what they can to make it work for you. The director is great, he listens to your needs and does what he can to make things better.
corey rose
corey rose
13:27 16 Apr 21
The COE is a awesome place if your a fire fighter struggling with anything and have been to scared to asked for help you need to call them. I was broken down and needed some help and everyone there was so very caring and helpful. I’m so very grateful I made the call and that we have a place like this to get help. I highly recommend the COE.
John Beard
John Beard
17:03 13 Apr 21
If you are wondering if you need a place like this then you probably do! These are the Rescuers of the Rescuers! A one of a kind place for Rescuers to recover from everything from PTSD to substance issues to other mental health issues. The staff here are truly the best in the field and to be surrounded by peers who understand is an unbelievable experience.
J Gras
J Gras
16:40 13 Apr 21
I came to the COE for Mental Health and got all the clarity and help I needed with it. The staff is highly professional and allows for all the freedom to finally find your true self. If you are part or were part of the IAFF this is a place for you. No joke. Haters gonna hate, don't let any bad review deter you from the COE, the facility is amazing. Full gym, pool during summer and great food thanks the Zack P. Mark is leading a top notch team here. This place is for you brothers and sisters.

About Our Program

Care for your unique needs

If you’re struggling with post-traumatic stress along with co-occurring depression, anxiety or substance abuse disorders, you need treatment from professionals who understand the fire service culture and the unique pressures of your job. The IAFF Center of Excellence connects you to best-practice, evidence-based therapies delivered by clinicians who understand the types of trauma you experience on a day-to-day basis.

Completely confidential treatment

Center staff cannot discuss your treatment with anyone — your fire department, family or friends — unless given explicit permission by you. This applies before, during and after your stay at the IAFF Center of Excellence.

Our Partner: Advanced Recovery Systems

With seven treatment centers across the United States, the continuum of care provided by Advanced Recovery Systems is unsurpassed. The IAFF has partnered with Advanced Recovery Systems to provide members with specialized treatment for the everyday stressors that trigger PTSD, behavioral health disorders and substance abuse.

iaff logo
advanced reocvery systems logo

We Can Help

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

You’re exposed to traumatic situations every day you’re on the job. For this reason, fire fighters and paramedics are twice as likely as the general population to experience PTSD. That’s why therapies to treat and recover from PTSD are first priority at the IAFF Center of Excellence. You’ll learn coping strategies, work through individual and group therapy sessions and participate in activities that will help you recover, build resilience and return to the job.

Substance Abuse

It is not uncommon when suffering from PTSD to experience co-occurring disorders, including alcohol and drug abuse as substances are sometimes used to self-medicate and escape symptoms. As part of the integrated, multi-disciplinary approach at the IAFF Center of Excellence, IAFF members struggling with addiction will receive the full continuum of care, from detox to outpatient therapy, so they can get the necessary treatment to start living fuller lives.

Behavioral Health

Depression, anxiety and other behavioral health issues can also be brought on or worsened by the stresses of the job. However, through medical and pharmacological treatment and cognitive talk therapy, members can get behavioral health treatment in a caring and supportive atmosphere that understands the fire service culture.

We Can Help

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

You’re exposed to traumatic situations every day you’re on the job. For this reason, fire fighters and paramedics are twice as likely as the general population to experience PTSD. That’s why therapies to treat and recover from PTSD are first priority at the IAFF Center of Excellence. You’ll learn coping strategies, work through individual and group therapy sessions and participate in activities that will help you recover, build resilience and return to the job.

Substance Abuse

It is not uncommon when suffering from PTSD to experience co-occurring disorders, including alcohol and drug abuse as substances are sometimes used to self-medicate and escape symptoms. As part of the integrated, multi-disciplinary approach at the IAFF Center of Excellence, IAFF members struggling with addiction will receive the full continuum of care, from detox to outpatient therapy, so they can get the necessary treatment to start living fuller lives.

Behavioral Health

Depression, anxiety and other behavioral health issues can also be brought on or worsened by the stresses of the job. However, through medical and pharmacological treatment and cognitive talk therapy, members can get behavioral health treatment in a caring and supportive atmosphere that understands the fire service culture.

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