What Makes the IAFF Center of Excellence Unique

Author: IAFF Staff

February 6, 2018

While the IAFF Center of Excellence is one of many treatment facilities that treats substance abuse and mental health disorders, many features of our facility aren’t found anywhere else. The more than 200 men and women we’ve treated since opening our doors can attest to what makes the Center of Excellence unique.

The Center Is One of a Kind

In the spring of 2017, we became the first specialized treatment center dedicated to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and co-occurring addictions exclusively for IAFF members. Through our partnership with Advanced Recovery Systems, we provide a familiar environment that is both functional and therapeutic for IAFF members to aid in their recovery.

The Center Was Designed by Fire Fighters, for Fire Fighters

We understand the unique culture of the fire service, and created our Center with fire fighters/paramedics in mind. At the Center of Excellence, you’re treated like family, just as you are at the firehouse, and undergo treatment with other IAFF members who share similar experiences. In addition, the Center features many amenities and special features, including a well-equipped gym and firehouse-style kitchen.

The Center Treats More Than Just PTSD and Drug Addiction

The IAFF Center of Excellence is licensed to treat numerous addiction or dependence disorders involving medication, alcohol or illicit drugs, but we treat other addictions as well, including sex addiction, pornography addiction and gambling addiction. On the mental health side, we address PTSD, depression, bipolar affective disorder, complicated grief, obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety and several other mental health disorders.

The Center Is Dually Licensed

Many treatment facilities are licensed to treat mental illness, but only if it co-occurs with addiction. The IAFF Center of Excellence, however, is a dually licensed facility, which allows us to treat these conditions separately or simultaneously. If you’re struggling with PTSD or any other mental disorder, and you are not addicted to any substances, we can treat you. If you’re grapple with addiction, but you don’t feel any major mental health concerns, we can treat you. If you deal with a substance use disorder and a mental health disorder, we can treat you.

Outdoor landscape view of the COE

The Center Has a Skilled, Compassionate Staff

We’re very proud of our multifaceted team of primary care doctors, psychiatrists, nurse practitioners, masters-level therapists, behavioral health technicians, and nurses[KL1] . Our physician coordinator is a former IAFF member. To ensure that every treatment provider is equipped to meet the needs of IAFF members, we require that each staff member go through Fire Ops 101 training, as well as at least one “ride along” with the Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department (IAFF Local 1619) in Maryland.

We Celebrate Your Success

We celebrate every IAFF member’s graduation from treatment at the Center. Together with all IAFF members at the Center, we conduct a celebratory ceremony at the Renewal Plaza – an outdoor circular courtyard for a special ceremony to mark the end of treatment and the start of a new life in recovery.

We Are Committed to Your Recovery After Treatment

Our relationship doesn’t end after you graduate from our Center. We’re committed to seeing you through your recovery and helping you stay healthy. That’s why our goal is to follow up with every IAFF member after treatment on a regular basis for more than one year beyond graduation. We want you and every other IAFF member to know that we’re always here for you, whether you need additional support in your recovery, have questions or need additional treatment.

To learn more about the IAFF Center of Excellence, or if you have questions about treatment, call us today. We’re here 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

We can help. Call 240-545-5141 or

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