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

Daniel Monk
Daniel Monk
18:44 14 Jun 21
Excellent Webinars from industry experts on Fire Fighters Mental Health.Center provides counseling for Firefighters suffering from Mental Trauma
Kristopher Holien
Kristopher Holien
03:06 04 Jun 21
The COE is a place where firefighters can go and heal. Everyone from Chef Zack (He is amazing) to the BHT's to the therapists, all make your time here about you and the process you need to heal. The Director Mark runs one helluva tight ship. Ms. Vonnie is incredible and will treat you like one of her kids. This place ia truly a gem and a one of a kind for firefighters.
Jason Koziol
Jason Koziol
18:35 28 May 21
It was a amazing experience and helped me become whole and the man I could be again. The staff was excellent and it felt like family.
Scott Kennedy
Scott Kennedy
17:24 27 May 21
Kind, caring, and compassionate treatment. I found the environment to be exactly what I needed to disarm myself and begin working through my past experiences while alongside my brothers and sisters from our great IAFF. Having their support and being there for them was very helpful and rewarding which helped my process of healing. A+ COE
Michael Denver
Michael Denver
23:55 21 May 21
What makes this place special is being surrounded by folks with a shared experience, that helps you feel surrounded by support. If you’re an IAFF member and need help with PTSD, Depression or other mental health concerns, substance use issues, or a combination of mental health and substance use, this place can help. While no place is perfect, the environment is definitely one of support from every person there, whether a clinical staff member, support staff, or anyone else, you can feel safe approaching them for help if needed.
Jarod Kimber
Jarod Kimber
18:48 18 May 21
The IAFF is fantastic from top to bottom. From the ride in from the airport, to meeting my roommates, to the staff that care for essentially your every need - the place is wonderful. The Instructors/Therapists/Clinicians and the rest of the medical staff actually care about you, your story and your progress. The rest of the staff is always friendly and as helpful as they can be. It’s an ideal place to spend the required time on yourself - to make yourself the best YOU, you can be. The progress you see in your brothers and sisters here is amazing and this place is as safe of a space as you get to heal and feel better.Five Stars all day long.

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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