Our Story

Thousands of active and retired firefighters responded to the alarm and 343 members of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) perished in the collapse of the World Trade Center towers on September 11, 2001. Friends of Firefighters was born within days of this catastrophic event through the performance of several unobtrusive acts of kindness offered by the local community. These ranged from making dinners for exhausted rescue workers, to coordinating and facilitating "behind the scenes" in a variety of ways for funerals and memorials, to sitting and listening to firefighters talk over a cup of coffee.

Offering therapeutic and mental health resources to active and retired firefighters and their families in the days following, we quickly realized this issue would need to be addressed for years to come. Over the past 17 years, Friends of Firefighters has expanded to meet the growing needs of the FDNY community by providing a range of peer support programs, financial guidance, expert counseling and wellness services to our Bravest.

Firefighters face trauma every day, impacting their physical and mental health, as well as that of their families, even long after retirement. We understand the common effects of the job such as stress, anxiety, insomnia, injury and sickness, strains on relationships and family life, loneliness after retirement or struggles with addiction. We also know that it can be hard to ask for help, especially for a community who is used to helping others.

HOW WE CAN HELP

Friends of Firefighters provides counseling, peer support and wellness services that are:

Free of Charge | Thanks to the continued support of our donors.

Independent | While the FDNY supports our mission, we are separate entities. No information is ever shared.

Confidential | “What you say here, stays here.”

Accessible | We have several easy-to-get-to locations throughout New York City.

Comfortable | We are headquartered in a revitalized firehouse in Red Hook, Brooklyn, which we have worked hard to maintain its authenticity. Our satellite counseling offices are spaces where you can feel comfortable and welcome.