Patient and Family Perspectives

  • Published October 31, 2023
Justin Severs

Featuring members of EMSC’s Family Advisory Network (FAN). Learn more about the FAN.

Name: Justin Severs

State/Territory: Michigan

Why did you become a FAN? “ I've been in law enforcement for the past 15 years and at my current department, we respond to all medical calls. When hearing any calls over the radio involving children, it always caught my attention. In 2016, my son, Carter, was diagnosed with autism. This made me realize how little I knew about autism and how much more training we could use in law enforcement when responding to calls involving individuals on the spectrum. In 2019, we developed Carter Kits for first responders and shortly after that, I met Dr. Sam Mishra [Michigan EMSC Program Manager]. Dr. Mishra requested I become a FAN and I never had to think twice about it. Being able to be part of a team with the goal of making children the priority #1 is what we all want as a parent. ”

What is the most important thing for emergency practitioners to know about caring for children? “ I think the most important thing, especially in law enforcement, is being able to build a rapport with children because that one interaction could impact that child for life, positively or negatively. Our ultimate goal is to have the best interaction and build a good rapport, so children trust us. How the first interaction went could impact the result of other calls if you have to respond again in the future.”