Firefighters deal with death, loss, and trauma on a regular basis. Being exposed to these events on an almost daily basis can take an emotional toll. Occupational stress often develops into Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). If not recognized and treated, PTSD can wreak havoc in a firefighter’s life and far too often leads to depression, substance abuse, or suicide. The latest statistics reveal that one in five firefighters will suffer from symptoms of PTSD at some point in their career.
For too long, the issue of firefighter PTSD wasn’t something that was widely discussed, but over the past several years, it has emerged into the open and is finally being addressed.
The International Association of Firefighters has teamed up with Advanced Recovery Systems and have announced the opening of a new treatment center to help firefighters who are battling PTSD. The Center of Excellence for Behavioral Health Treatment and Recovery is located on 15 peaceful acres in Upper Marlboro, Maryland. The center is just 30 minutes from Washington DC and an hour’s drive from Dulles International Airport.
The center’s mission is “to offer treatment for successful recovery from post-traumatic stress and co-occurring addictions and help IAFF members return to the job.” The one-of-a-kind center is strictly for IAFF members who are struggling with PTSD, addiction, and other related behavioral health challenges. The treatment received at the center is completely confidential.
More information about the center can be found at their website, or by calling 855.900.8437.