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

Mike Street
Mike Street
12:38 24 Sep 21
The staff is wonderful. No place else on earth a struggling Firefighter should go. Thanks to everyone I met during my journey.
Ricco Tapia
Ricco Tapia
19:20 23 Sep 21
The staff was excellent and there are really good clinicians that haven’t a passion for making the lives of firefighters better. I have suffered with ptsd and depression for a long time and this place has relieved some of that burden that has been with me.
Thomas Costello
Thomas Costello
17:33 23 Sep 21
The entire staff at the COE is amazing, from Vonnie at the front to all the BHTs and support staff as well as clinicians are all life savers!
Shaun Hadlock
Shaun Hadlock
16:42 23 Sep 21
I arrived at the IAFF COE a Broken Fireman & departed as a Proud, Self Confident Man who Created Self Solitude.
William Schnaekel
William Schnaekel
19:34 21 Sep 21
TRUST THE PROCESS.
Chris Desjardins
Chris Desjardins
00:12 18 Sep 21
IAFF Center of Excellence was a great experience. Staff was friendly and amazing. Mark the Director is the right guy for the job. It really got me out of my head and back moving forward.

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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