The IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery

Through a partnership between the International Association of Firefighters (IAFF) and Advanced Recovery Systems, a nationwide leader in rehabilitation and behavioral health, the IAFF Center of Excellence is a flagship recovery center where IAFF members can heal from behavioral health conditions.

The first of its kind, the IAFF Center of Excellence offers treatment exclusively for fire fighters, dispatchers and first responders. We offer treatment for mental health conditions like post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and complicated grief, along with rehab for drug and alcohol abuse.

Our Facility

Located in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, the IAFF Center for Excellence is approximately 30 minutes from Washington, DC, and an hour from Dulles International Airport. Designed with fire fighters in mind, our 15-acre campus is ideal for focusing on treatment and recovery. Our dual-diagnosis rehab programs balance medical support with mental health counseling, while our recreational therapies facilitate whole-person healing.


Our Location

IAFF Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery
13400 Edgemeade Rd
Upper Marlboro, MD 20772

(301) 358-0192

Levels of Care

Paying for Rehab

At the IAFF Center of Excellence, we accept:

Our Staff

Our full-time medical and clinical staff at the IAFF Center of Excellence empower people to get back to the careers they love with renewed health and vitality.

Abby Morris
Medical Director
Nanci Stockwell

Laura Clarke
Marisa Hall

Our Accreditations

The IAFF Center of Excellence is accredited by The Joint Commission and licensed by the state of Maryland for both substance abuse treatment and mental health treatment. 

NAATP member logo

the joint commission logo

Tour Our Facility

Tour the IAFF Center of Excellence virtually to view or facility and amenities.


Depending on the level of care, indoor and outdoor amenities at the IAFF Center of Excellence may include:

  • Swimming pool
  • Recreation room with foosball and pool tables
  • Fully equipped exercise gym
  • Basketball court
  • Volleyball court
  • Wood-lined walking trails
  • Yoga and mindfulness therapy
  • Designated smoking areas
  • Computer lab
  • Off-site activities

IAFF Center of Excellence volleyball court

What to Expect

It’s our goal to provide each IAFF member with a safe environment, free from familiar triggers, distractions and stress. Knowing what to expect during rehab can help inform clients about what to bring along and prepare them for a positive treatment experience.

We recommend that all clients bring:

  • Insurance and pharmacy card and a state ID or driver’s license
  • One week’s worth of season-appropriate clothing, including workout clothing and a jacket or sweater for indoors
  • Prepaid credit card or cash, which will be retained by staff when not in use
  • Sealed (unopened) alcohol-free toiletries, including shampoo and conditioner, sunscreen, face wash, lotion and feminine products

The following items aren’t permitted at the IAFF Center of Excellence:

  • Drugs or alcohol, drug paraphernalia and clothing depicting drugs
  • Products that contain alcohol, including hand sanitizer, mouthwash and other toiletries
  • Vaporizers (vaping devices, vapes)
  • Weapons (including pocket knives)
Read More

What Does the Treatment Process Look Like?

The IAFF Center of Excellence is licensed to offer evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders and mental health conditions, whether or not the issues co-occur. Specialists at the center formulate treatment plans to address one or both conditions for each client, depending on their needs.

Rehab at the IAFF Center of Excellence is tailored to each IAFF member’s unique needs. However, regardless of a client’s specific treatment plan, rehab usually follows an outlined process, beginning with an evaluation and ending with aftercare planning.

  • Intake Evaluation

    Upon arrival at our facility, IAFF members participate in a comprehensive screening process that includes mandatory searches and a medical exam. We evaluate past and current drug use, along with mental and physical health to create a treatment plan for each client.

  • Clinically Managed Detox, If Applicable

    If an IAFF member needs treatment for drug or alcohol abuse, they will likely first go through clinically managed detox to cleanse their body of drugs or alcohol. This essential level of care prepares people to transition to further rehab programming, like inpatient treatment.

  • Substance Abuse Treatment

    After participating in detox, clients who struggle with drug or alcohol abuse can enroll in further programming for substance abuse, including inpatient, partial hospitalization or intensive outpatient care. In addition to medical support, mental health counseling is included in each level of care. Once it’s deemed medically appropriate, clients can also transition to outpatient programming in preparation for returning to daily life after rehab.

  • Mental Health Treatment

    For clients who do not need substance abuse treatment, we offer a variety of programs (inpatient through outpatient) to address behavioral health concerns like PTSD, depression, anxiety, grief and other conditions.

  • Aftercare Planning

    All clients leave rehab with a solid aftercare plan that outlines necessary follow-up appointments with doctors and therapists. Our case managers work with each client to set up aftercare plans with recommendations specific to a client’s hometown.

What Our Clients Say

Bryan Grady
Bryan Grady
15:35 22 Jan 20
The center is one of the best things out there for firefighters. It helped me understand why I did the things I did. I highly recommend this place for our brothers and sisters in need of help
Dan M
Dan M
17:09 14 Jan 20
I use to think that only firefighters saved other firefighters lives. After seeking treatment at the Center of Excellence I now know there’s an amazing group of people at this facility that are saving firefighters lives one by one. I walked into the facility lost, broken and afraid. Every one of my demons followed me through those gates and with the hard work and dedication of everyone there I walked out free of them all. The days are hard, the work is brutal but every bit of it was worth it. From the minute I walk into the facility I felt welcomed and safe. The brotherhood is real here and everyone is looking out for you. Accept the help and embrace it. Keep your head up, stay the course and do the work. You are worth it and deserve it. Dan
Susan Gribbin
Susan Gribbin
15:53 14 Jan 20
It was a bit of a shot in the dark for me going here, even though I had gotten a recommendation from another firefighter, we all have different experiences. Well, this place was a life changer!!! I was soooo angry and miserable when I got there and even for a couple of weeks in. Everything bothered me or triggered me. I did have an issue with one of the staff, but in my resolution of that it made me a lot better. The rest of the staff was incredible and always there for anything that we or I needed. The layout of the center is nice and comfortable and made me feel at home. Also, the programming is spot on when it comes to tools to use out in life and having the opportunity to use them even while there.I would definitely recommend this to any IAFF member who is struggling. It is sooooo worth the time and effort to get your life back!!!But would definitely remind them to ensure that they advocate for themselves and their treatment if they feel that they are slipping through the cracks.It really is a GREAT place!!!!
Kris Binford
Kris Binford
14:57 10 Jan 20
Really received great help. Thanks
Mike Connolly
Mike Connolly
12:45 08 Jan 20
Fantastic place with a great caring staff. Cannot say enough about them. Much like family. COE gave me great tools to move forward. It is up to all of us to use those tools in our after care.
Dale Stephens
Dale Stephens
17:39 06 Jan 20
Going in I was nervous about being at an inpatient facility and not knowing what to expect. Once there I was greeted with handshakes, hugs and "welcome brother" from everyone there. I felt right at home. I went in a broken, depressed, and isolated man. After 45 days I left confident, happy, a better father, and most important, a better person. The staff genuinely cares about you and your road to recovery. I would recommend this facility to any current or retired firefighter without hesitation. Thank you IAFF and A.R.S. for giving me the tools to continue down the road to recovery.

Alumni Testimonials

Angela and Jeff both struggled with substance use and the pressures that come along with their jobs as firefighters. With the help of the IAFF Center of Excellence, both Angela and Jeff are on their path to life long recovery. You are not alone in your recovery journey with mental health, substance abuse, and PTSD. The IAFF Center Of Excellence is here to help.

Frequently Asked Questions

We understand that you may have questions about rehab. We’re always willing to answer frequently asked questions about rehab, including:

  • Is rehab confidential?

    Yes, rehab at the IAFF Center of Excellence is always confidential, and your presence here will only be disclosed to the people you choose. Your union leaders, fellow fire fighters, friends and family members will not be informed of your treatment without your consent.

  • Is cell phone use allowed during treatment?

    Cell phones will be securely stored upon arrival and returned at discharge. Following an initial adjustment period upon arrival, clients may use our facility’s phones three times a week.

  • Will the IAFF Center of Excellence pay for traveling to rehab?

    No, our facility does not pay for transportation to or from the center, but representatives can help clients coordinate travel arrangements, if necessary.

    Read About Traveling to Rehab

  • How long does rehab last at the IAFF Center of Excellence?

    Treatment program lengths at the IAFF Center of Excellence vary depending on each client’s needs. We understand that many fire fighters and first responders may be concerned about time spent away from their jobs, but typically, the longer a person stays in treatment, the better equipped they are to handle life after rehab.

Call our facility, view answers to other frequently asked questions or read our full what to expect guide for more answers about rehab.

Communities We Serve in Maryland

At the IAFF Center of Excellence, we welcome both in- and out-of-state IAFF members, and we are proud to serve the surrounding Maryland communities of:


With a scenic location in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, The IAFF Center of Excellence accepts clients from across the United States and Canada. Call today to learn more about treatment options for IAFF members.

Upcoming Events

There are no upcoming Events at this time.