Home Away From Home: Treatment Designed for IAFF Members

Author: IAFF Staff

September 28, 2017

The IAFF Center of Excellence Was Made With Fire Fighters in Mind

As fire fighters and first responders, IAFF members face a unique set of challenges and rewards. The job can be immeasurably fulfilling and life-changing. But it can also be stressful and difficult. IAFF members experience hardships that others can’t even imagine, resulting in physical and mental struggles like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addiction and other co-occurring disorders. Instead of being feared or stigmatized, injuries like PTSD and hardships like addiction should be discussed, understood and treated.

That’s why the IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery was designed specifically with fire fighters and first responders in mind. With programs and facilities tailored to IAFF members, those struggling with mental health or addiction can focus on healing while maintaining a connection to their career and home.

A Facility for You 

The IAFF Center of Excellence is a welcoming campus consisting of seven different buildings across 15 acres in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The center is reminiscent of a firehouse community, with designated areas for therapy, meals and living. A welcome center, separate kitchen, and medical facility are joined by three station houses designed to mirror familiar spaces. Each building serves as a unique piece of the cohesive campus and treatment programs.

  • Welcome Center The heart of the IAFF Center of Excellence is the welcome center, which houses admissions, nursing and wellness programs, and a spacious gym. The largest part of the facility, the welcome center acts as the hub for healing.
  • Kitchen House Like in any home, the kitchen is a place for bonding. This separate building allows guests to make connections with others during meals, while offering a physically separate location from sleeping quarters and therapy rooms for clarity and focus.
  • Medical Building The medical building at the IAFF Center of Excellence is an important first stop for many people. For those seeking treatment for substance use disorder, it serves as their home during clinically managed detox. This building also houses clients participating in residential treatment.
  • Station Houses Three station houses round out the IAFF Center of Excellence campus. These houses are living quarters for those in partial hospitalization programs, intensive outpatient care, or mental and behavioral health treatment for conditions like PTSD.

At the IAFF Center of Excellence, you’ll find familiar touches throughout that will help you transition from treatment to home and work life. The center and its programs work to ensure that you can return to a rewarding career and the family and friends you love.

Treatment for You

Because every IAFF member is unique, the Center of Excellence tailors programs to each individual patient. Whether you are struggling with drugs or alcohol, suffering from PTSD, or working through a co-occurring disorder, there is a treatment program for you or someone you love.

  • Substance Use Disorder Sometimes people resort to substance use to cope with the difficulties of work, family or daily life. Others may use drugs or alcohol as a means to deal with long-term or past trauma. Some may even use substances to just “feel better” on a day-to-day basis. Fire fighters and first responders are no exception when it comes to addiction. If you or someone you love is using drugs or alcohol in excess, the IAFF center can help identify and uncover the factors that contribute to addiction and treat the whole person with well-rounded therapy options, support groups and more.
  • Mental and Behavioral Health For many fire fighters and first responders, conditions like PTSD and anxiety can be overwhelming. Because of the stigmas associated with mental health, many people carry on without treatment, often to their own detriment. By recognizing and treating mental health concerns, you can learn to cope with and recover from psychological trauma, stressful memories and challenging situations.
  • Co-Occurring Disorders When a person is struggling with addiction and a mental health condition like PTSD at the same time, they are experiencing co-occurring disorders. Because substance abuse is often accompanied by other struggles, co-occurring disorders are common amongst those receiving care for drug or alcohol addiction. By treating them together, you are able to get at the heart of the problem instead of simply treating symptoms of either disorder.

The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery aims to serve those who serve others as fire fighters and first responders. As a resource for those struggling with addiction, mental health and co-occurring disorders, the center is dedicated to helping IAFF members find long-term recovery and healing. With a state-of-the-art facility constructed to create a familiar environment to personalized therapy and support groups, the IAFF Center of Excellence is a national resource for fire fighters and first responders seeking treatment.

If you or someone you know is battling addiction or struggling with PTSD or other behavioral and mental health issues, call the IAFF Center of Excellence. An understanding representative is available to offer the advice, help and service you need. This free call comes with no commitment and no punitive action for fire fighters or anyone who calls on their behalf, so you can reach out with confidence in confidentiality.  

Medical Disclaimer: The IAFF Center of Excellence aims to improve the quality of life for people struggling with a substance use or mental health disorder with fact-based content about the nature of behavioral health conditions, treatment options and their related outcomes. We publish material that is researched, cited, edited and reviewed by licensed medical professionals. The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider.

We can help. Call 855-900-8437 or

Get Help Now