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

Focwa 72
Focwa 72
19:46 22 Nov 21
If you need the help ask for it there's no shame in asking! Was a great experience! Wasn't expecting anyone to understand where I was coming from, no one would understand my story, I was wrong! If you go this is the place to let it all out. The staff was wonderful and the brothers and sisters were very open and comforting to one another. If you go "stay on the path you will find your way home"
Paul Rank
Paul Rank
00:54 21 Nov 21
The IAFF Center of Excellence saved my life. The clinicians and staff truly care for the firefighters, Paramedics, and EMT’s rehabilitating at the facility. They treat patients with dignity and respect and are as accommodating as can be in a residential treatment facility. Rehabilitation alongside other IAFF members creates a bond among patients that speaks to the life of the brotherhood of the fire service. IAFF members looking to rehab there should consider bringing their own bedding and towels. Bedding and towels are provided but more comfortable provisions for a long-term stay are recommended. All in all, the CoE is a top-notch rehabilitation center for firefighters.
Kenneth Martin
Kenneth Martin
18:16 19 Nov 21
The Center of Excellence help me find life again. This place is uniquely its ability to provide a space for fire fighters to safely work through any traumatic events or substance abuse struggles that may be affecting the lives. The things that I’ve learned here will continue to help maintain mental health and live life fully. It exceeded my expectations and I will forever be grateful to have had the opportunity to begin my healing here.
David Howey Jr
David Howey Jr
21:14 13 Nov 21
20 years of suffering with PTSD from 9-11. Then having my 2nd marriage circling the drain and the death of one of my sons I checked in at the center . The staff is amazing they totally understand how firefighters act and think they helped me get my life back together and brought me out of the darkness.
John Stutz
John Stutz
19:01 11 Nov 21
Nice facility adequate for the needs. Physical activities indoors and out. Just participate and become involved.If you are looking for healing and peace you are coming to the right place. You start at the bottom of the hill and it's confusing, but stick with it and you will reach the top and see the valley.
Andrea Watts
Andrea Watts
00:00 06 Nov 21
Outstanding program with culturally competent professionals.
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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.

Recovery Stories

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