Veteran/First Responder helps coach other First Responders through PTSD

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CHATTANOOGA, Tenn (WDEF) – Only soldiers and sailors who’ve been in combat really understand the toll it takes on even the toughest person.

That also describes the job of most emergency personnel in your community.

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One Hamilton county E-M-T has done both of those jobs, and he’s doing something to help his colleagues deal with PTSD.

Emergency personnel have feelings, too. They hurt for those they help..but they’re trained to control their emotions and get the job done.

That job is getting care and treatment for their fellow citizens and many times saving their lives.

Paul Bobenhausen has been an Advanced EMT with Hamilton county emergency services for 30 years now.

He has deployed three times to Iraq and Afghanistan as an army reservist…but not as a medic, he was a truck driver, who always in danger from explosive I.E.D’s.

Like so many others he developed Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.

“I came back from my second deployment, I’m the army reserve..I discovered I had PTSD. Uh, I went to every avenue I could to find healing for it, I was not finding a lot of success. My sister called me one day and told me about a class that was being taught in Hixson. And It’s called REBOOT,”says Paul BobenHausen, Hamilton County First EMS.

Paul not only took that class from Reboot…he took it three times in 2017.

It’s free of charge.

“I learned so much about myself that I didn’t know with the PTSD. I learned that I not only had PTSD from my military experiences..but from my emergency services experience as well,” Bobenhausen said.

And now he teaches it to fellow first responders.

“Our bodies are not made to ha ha handle that kind of situation all the time. We see people everyday on their worst days and we have to deal with that ourselves.And then, when we go home we can’t just turn it off,” says Bobenhausen.

Paul is looking to retire in the next few months, but he knows first hand what PTSD is like..and he’s determined to help his colleagues deal with it as he has.

He’s making an amazing contribution…and we are proud to name Paul Bobenhausen as our First Responder of the Month.