Services for Firefighters & Family Members
Programs & Services
Friends of Firefighters offers a number of services and programs in order to meet your mental and physical health and well being needs. All services are available for both firefighters (active and retired) as well as their family members. During business hours we always have a pot of coffee on and a kitchen table to sit around, so feel free to drop by. Learn about our history and mission click here.
Unless otherwise noted, all services are offered at no charge and are in-house. Our business hours are Monday – Friday, 9AM-5PM. For more information on any program, or to make an appointment, do not hesitate to call us at 718.643.0980 or e-mail us at email@example.com.
Mental Health and Counseling Program
FoF offers confidential on-site individual, couples, and family counseling with experienced licensed mental health providers in the areas of anger management, stress reduction, anxiety and panic, depression, alcohol and substance abuse, relationship/marriage counseling, children and adolescents, retirement adjustment, trauma, grief and loss, balancing job and family. Counseling at Friends of Firefighters is a collaborative effort, where you will work together with a counselor to identify what you want to address and to set identifiable goals.
Sessions are by appointment. If an issue requires immediate attention, please call the office and we will contact a counselor immediately.
Peer Support Program
Often what firefighters want and need is the support and guidance of one of their “brothers,” and we offer this through our peer support program. The firehouse kitchen provides a comfortable atmosphere for peers to connect with one another. Topics such as balancing family life, retirement, financial difficulties and stresses of the job are common topics between peers in the kitchen.
Retired Firefighter Peer Support
As an extension of our counseling program, we offer you the opportunity to speak with a retired firefighter peer counselor either at FoF or over the phone. Just call or e-mail us to set this up.
On the Arm Breakfast
Join us the second Wednesday of every month from 8:00AM–11:00AM for our On the Arm Breakfast with Tony Catapano. In addition to the firefighters and their families, the breakfasts are open to all service men and women and their families.
The breakfasts began in February 2007. It was the idea of our highly esteemed peer, Tony Catapano who, with 42 years on the job, knows how to cook for the brothers and sisters. Along with his impressive amount of time on the job as a firefighter at Engine 202 in Brooklyn, he has a reputation for his cooking and is also known for his contribution to the cookbook created in the 1980′s with John Sineno.
It is an honor to have Tony here at Friends of Firefighters both as a peer and as the wonderful host he is. Please stop by to enjoy a special meal and the company of your fellow FDNY members.
Biofeedback mPod – A new approach to stress relief
Goals of the mPod biofeedback program include maximizing Scott Pak use, sleeping easier, enhancing sports performance, and decreasing stress on the fire grounds and in everyday life. The mPod provides a safe, comfortable, and unique environment that brings about empowering skills such as self-regulation of the nervous system, breathing, and heart rate variability during stressful situations or at rest. You will learn powerful coping mechanisms such as breathing exercises, mental exercises, and calming techniques, which help maintain optimal health and performance in demanding environments.
"The Biofeedback mPod is another tool in the tool box– it can help you on the fire floor and at home.”
- Retired Lieutenant, FDNY 27 years of service
City of Berlin Scholarship / Checkpoint Charlie
This scholarship is funded by the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation and is open to college-age children whose parent has retired as a result of September 11, 2001. Students who are entering college, as well as those who are already enrolled, are encouraged to apply.
Therapeutic deep-tissue massage is offered in our in-house massage room by appointment. Massage therapy can be helpful in alleviating pain, improving circulation and range of motion, increasing joint flexibility, reducing inflammation, promoting tissue regeneration, as well as enhancing sleep quality, lessening depression and anxiety, and improving energy.
Siobhan Towey is a Licensed Massage Therapist and has worked with Friends of Firefighters since 2008. Massage therapy is currently offered at $50 for an hour session. Find more about Siobhan on her website.
What’s a stock? What’s a bond? What’s a qualified plan? What’s a Pension Option?
Karen Donnelly, sister of firefighter Matthew Donnelly of L-26, volunteers at FoF to offer assistance and resources on questions of life insurance, wills, and financial strategies. Karen uses her expertise and accesses powerful technology that saves time and expense and offers tremendous peace of mind. Karen is here every Wednesday, 10AM–2PM for consultation, or by appointment.
Herbal Detoxification Program
Serving Those Who Serve, Inc. is a nonprofit organization offering a detoxification program to those exposed to the hazardous environment caused by the World Trade Center’s collapse. STWS has partnered with Friends of Firefighters to provide free herbal supplements to first responders. The program consists of four specific tablets, each to be taken twice daily. An information packet and consent form are necessary to begin the program.
If you’re interested, please get in touch with us and we will get the herbs and information together for you to get started. More information on the program can be found by visiting STWS.
Yoga is a form of exercise that rejuvenates the body in a low impact way while gaining flexibility and strength.
Felecia Maria Kutch has studied yoga since 2001 and received her certification in 2008 from Laughing Lotus Yoga Center in NYC. She has a BFA from the University of Montana in Dance. As a dancer she has a great understanding of the body and proper alignment. Felecia is married to a firefighter and understands the strains of the job and the endurance that the body needs on a daily basis. She also understands the recovery necessary for the body to begin functioning properly. You can find out more about her on her website.
Felecia teaches a one hour Beginners Yoga class at Friends of Firefighters every other Thursday at 10:30AM, mats are provided.
Support Group for Women
As a wife/partner/girlfriend/widow of a retired or active firefighter, you are welcome to many of our mental health and wellness services, including counseling, massage therapy, yoga, acupuncture, and financial strategies and guidance. We also have a group just for you. Meetings are held Thursdays from 11:30AM-1:00PM. There will be two separate groups for widows and wives/girlfriends, alternating weeks. Please contact us about joining. If you are interested in an evening group, please be in touch.
As with all of our programs, please call us at 718.643.0980 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to make an appointment, if necessary.