Inver alumnus teaching in EMS Paramedic program
Clarence Fraser, 31, a 2017 graduate of the EMS Paramedic program at Inver Hills Community College, started as an instructor in the program in June 2021. Clarence has extensive experience as a paramedic and emergency medical technician (EMT) in the field. He served both as an EMT and paramedic for Allina Health for a combined eight years (2013–2021) and earlier as an EMT for five years for the city of St. Paul (2010–2015). He currently serves as a paramedic for M Health Fairview EMS.
“I engage students in class and encourage them to be uncomfortable in a safe setting. I also emphasize the international aspect of public safety. Our patients assume that we’re competent—they won’t focus on how smart we are, but they will certainly remember how kind we were and how we made them feel.”
EMS Paramedic Faculty
Inver Hills Community College
More about Clarence…
Originally from St. Paul, Minnesota, Clarence graduated from Cretin-Derham Hall High School, Class of 2008. Ashley, Clarence’s wife of 10 years, works in the child protection unit of the Ramsey County Attorney’s Office.
Clarence and Ashley met in 2010 when they were students together in the Inver Hills EMS Paramedic program. She transitioned from the EMS program to pursue legal studies, but they graduated in the same EMT class.
They were married two years later and have two children, Ava, 6, and Cameron, 4. The family has two dogs, Chase, a fox-red Labrador, and Alena, a cattle-dog mix.
“I spend as much time as I can with my family,” Clarence said. “My wife, Ashley, is my hero. Our children are VERY active so I’m an unpaid chauffeur and #1 super-fan. I’m a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., a historically Black academic and professional organization dedicated to scholarship and service. We engage the public and support excellence in any way we can.”
Clarence resides with his family in St. Paul.
Clarence Fraser family gallery
Clarence Fraser • Q & A
What advice would you give students thinking about paramedicine as their career path?
It’s the most rewarding career in the world, helping people on an individual basis on their worst days of their lives. It’s challenging work, but there will always be someone with experience to usher them through the industry.
What are the most challenging aspects of life as a paramedic?
Family and sleep get shorted sometimes, but it’s manageable with the right awareness and effort. Find emotional support early in your career; it’s no secret how gruesome some of this things we see are.
What are some essential individual qualities a paramedic must bring to the job?
I emphasize kindness every day in class. We are customer service representatives who happen to know a thing or two about medicine. Also, being open to other walks of life, no matter how different they are from yours.
Three words that describe you as an EMS educator:
ENERGETIC. AWARE. DETERMINED.
How has your experience as an Inver EMS student helped you approach your role as an instructor in the program?
I understand the unique growing pains EMS students experience. I am compassionate in delivering a heavy curriculum and supportive in the interpersonal demands of the job.
What is the most important lesson you learned during your career as a paramedic?
Appreciate all communities, even if their values appear different than yours.
Where do you hope to find yourself in 20 years?
I want to be in the same places I’m in now, as a teacher and as a working paramedic. I am open to adjusting the balance between the two, and am flexible in the specifics of either position.
What person has influenced your life the most and why?
My wife, Ashley, without a doubt. She challenges me and supports me more than anyone else. She’s my best friend, a powerful partner, and the greatest mother to our children.
One word that best describes your experience as an EMS educator:
Clarence Fraser • 12 Answers
- Favorite physical activity: Weight training
- Place you would most like to visit: Cuba
- The most exciting thing you’ve ever done: Becoming a father
- Three things you would do if you won a $1 billion lottery: 1) Invest in real estate 2) Invest in my children’s futures/generational wealth 3) Buy a lot of fast cars
- Best book you’ve read lately: Emergency Care and Transportation of the Sick and Injured 😀
- Time period you would explore if you could time travel: The equitable future
- One thing you most want to accomplish in life: Like my father said, “Every generation one level better than before. Help my kids be better than me.”
- Your national bird if you were your own country: Harpy eagle
- Dream occupation: Full-time dad
- Person you would most like to meet: Richard Rawlings (hot rod builder)
- Skill you would most like to learn and master: Organization and planning
- Most important issue or problem facing humankind: Kindness. Perspective.
Learn more about the EMS Paramedic program at Inver Hills by contacting:
Gordon Kokx, PhD, NRP
Emergency Medical Services Director/Faculty