PLATINUM2022

Friends of Firefighters, Inc.

We're still here.

aka FoF   |   Brooklyn, NY   |  www.friendsoffirefighters.org

Mission

Friends of Firefighters is dedicated to addressing the physical, mental health, and wellness needs of active and retired FDNY members, and their families.

Ruling year info

2002

Founder & Executive Director

Ms. Nancy Carbone

Main address

199 Van Brunt Street

Brooklyn, NY 11231 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

01-0611469

NTEE code info

Other Mental Health, Crisis Intervention N.E.C. (F99)

Disaster Preparedness and Relief Services (M20)

Family Counseling, Marriage Counseling (P46)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

The FDNY reports that its members respond to an average of over 2 million emergency calls per year. During the pandemic and bouts of civil unrest in NYC, the number of emergency calls in 2020 increased to a staggering 25.8 million. Our firefighters respond not only to structural / non-structural fires and collapses, but also to myriad emergencies including, but not limited to: catastrophic disasters, domestic issues, critical health scenarios, and fatal accidents across the five boroughs. Occupational stress in first responders is associated with increased risk of mental health issues, primarily hopelessness, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress - as well as suicidal ideation and attempts. First responders are more likely to die by suicide than in the line of duty; additionally, PTSD and depression rates are five times higher in firefighters than in the civilian population. With this greater exposure comes the need for increased mental health support and services.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Mental Health & Counseling

Friends of Firefighters offers confidential and free counseling services by LCSWs 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, and balancing job and family. Since the onset of COVID-19, we have been providing Tele-Therapy via a HIPAA compliant platform for safety and convenience.

Population(s) Served
Emergency responders
Families

Often what firefighters want and need is the support and guidance of one of their “brothers,” and Friends of Firefighters offers this through our peer support program. One example is our monthly On the Arm Breakfast. The firehouse style 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.

Population(s) Served
Emergency responders
Families

A qualified Friends of Firefighter volunteer offers guidance and resources on questions of life insurance, wills, and financial planning to our firefighter community.

Population(s) Served
Emergency responders
Families

Acupuncture therapy is offered in house, by appointment, with our licensed acupuncturist. Currently suspended due to COVID-19.

Population(s) Served
Emergency responders
Families

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Friends of Firefighters provides counseling via HIPAA compliant telehealth platforms to active and retired firefighters and their families. We also added virtual support groups and increased our phone calls to firehouses and members. Our Outreach team moved from making firehouse visits to dropping off packages that include masks, hand sanitizers, and brochures highlighting our services to all NYC firehouses.

Population(s) Served
Emergency responders
Families

Senior and retired members present pertinent fire information to firefighters for their safety and knowledge alongside a tasty meal.

Population(s) Served

If the FDNY population is impacted by a disaster, we assist with providing the resources they require.

Population(s) Served
Emergency responders
Emergency responders

Where we work

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total number of counseling sessions performed

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Emergency responders

Related Program

Mental Health & Counseling

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Number of persons reached through direct contact (via events, Outreach, planned meetings)

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Emergency responders

Related Program

Mental Health & Counseling

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

FoF Outreach team visits every NYC firehouse 4x annually. Our team has a presence at FDNY fraternal meetings, union meetings/seminars, sporting groups, memorials, funerals, and community events.

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Our counselors are trained in the prevailing diagnoses that affect the work of first responders, and are specifically trained in the FDNY firefighter culture. Sessions are offered to individuals, couples, families, children, and adolescents. The community we serve is accustomed to being the helpers, not the helped and we have thereby learned to address the recognition of shame that firefighters may feel when seeking support. Friends of Firefighters works to address presenting problems, de-stigmatize the need for mental health support, and to help build resilience throughout the FDNY community.

The services provided at Friends of Firefighters are done so with complete confidentiality; no information is ever shared with the Fire Department and though we are supported by the bureau, we operate in a completely separate manner.

With a proven track-record that spans over twenty years, firefighters and their family members feel comfortable turning to FoF for help.

To accommodate the need for counseling services, we offer in-person or virtual sessions via HIPAA-compliant platforms. Outreach works with each of the 218 FDNY firehouses across the five boroughs of NYC, and assist with a retiree group to ensure that even those who are retired from their firefighting career, are still connected and supported.

Our goal is to be a reliable resource in providing mental health stability, treating PTS, and offering suicide prevention for our FDNY community.

Friends of Firefighters has been providing mental health and wellness services since 2001. Our response to 9/11, Hurricane Sandy, COVID-19, and other traumatic events within the city of New York have laid the groundwork for trust within the firefighter community. At this time, we are the only non-profit organization supporting New York City firefighters in this capacity, and have a proven track record of meeting mental health and physical wellness needs.

Due to the increased volume of inquiries from the FDNY community since the beginning of 2020, we anticipate and are preparing for the need to increase our counseling and peer support services.

In addition to counseling, FoF provides wellness services (acupuncture, yoga, hiking, nature walks), peer support groups, meditation, music therapy, and other programs that are developed upon request.

On the Arm Breakfast is a free monthly breakfast provided for members to connect with other firefighters over breakfast. Many retired members attend this meal in order to remain connected with one another and their firefighting experiences.

Firehouse Kitchen Talk is a free monthly dinner and presentation that is financially supported by the Gary Sinise Foundation. This event offers discussions about issues related to fires, collapses, and other scenarios firefighters may come across, and is attended most often by active members seeking to further educate themselves.

Outreach remains a critical conduit to connecting firefighters with needed services. Efforts included visits to all 218 FDNY firehouses throughout the year, as well as attendance to fraternal, retiree, and union meetings. We estimate that we connect with each of the approximate 10,000 members an average of four times a year via these efforts. This personal and professional outreach is repeated throughout the year to ensure a connection between us and the population that we serve.

Staff and peer supporters are trained in Psychological First Aid and are sensitive to the culture of the first responder community.

The counselors that comprise our Mental Health team each come with experience working with first responders and are trained in trauma and Post-Traumatic Stress.

Outreach consists of one Coordinator and retired firefighters that volunteer their time to visit firehouses and spread information about services, programs, and upcoming events.

The Wellness program consists of staff and volunteers that come to the table with a plethora of experiences working within this community, or being a part of the FDNY community themselves.

Peer Support features volunteers (firefighters who are active or retired, and spouses) who, upon request, meet one-on-one with firefighters in distress. They also run a monthly On the Arm Breakfasts and a Firehouse Kitchen Talk Series in the kitchen of our firehouse. Firefighters rely heavily on their friendships with one another, and we strive to make them feel as comfortable in our kitchen as they would in their own.

Our Administrative team includes the Executive Director, External Relations Officer, Executive Assistant, Bookkeeper, Administrative Coordinator, and Grant Writer.

Friends of Firefighter’s board includes individuals with mental health credentials, non-profit management, financial and legal experience, and FDNY members.

Our Advisory Council consists of various public figures, celebrities, and FDNY members who use their platform and network to help expand support for Friends of Firefighters.

Friends of Firefighters has been serving the FDNY community and their family members since 2001. Historically speaking, mental health wellness has not been addressed due to the sensitive nature and stigmas.

The importance of suicide awareness and prevention, physical well-being, and the strength it takes in asking for help are of utmost importance, and FoF is diligent in providing the space for our Bravest to get the help they need.

Our Mental Health Program had an increase of approximately 200% in counseling sessions since 2018, in 2021 alone we had 3,117 sessions.

These numbers illustrate the need for our services, and we are proud of our contribution to de-stigmatizing asking for mental health support.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback

Financials

Friends of Firefighters, Inc.
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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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lock

Connect with nonprofit leaders

Subscribe

Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

Friends of Firefighters, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 09/01/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Howard Horowitz

Zuri Group

Term: 2022 -

Lawrence V. Amsel

Columbia University Department of Psychiatry

Daniel Prince

FDNY (retired) Firefighter

Mark Tower

Lyxor Asset Management

Andrea N. Mandell

Schulte Roth & Zabel LLP

Damian Echevarrieta

National Hockey League

Arturo Grant

FDNY (retired) Firefighter

Howard Horowitz

Zuri Group

Joshua Calacanis

FDNY Firefighter

Michael Barasch

Barasch & McGarry

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 8/16/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 07/12/2022

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We ask team members to identify racial disparities in their programs and / or portfolios.
  • We analyze disaggregated data and root causes of race disparities that impact the organization's programs, portfolios, and the populations served.
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.