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Experts in EMS Share Insights on Monitoring Medication and Blood Temperatures


  • Al Gillespie,  President, Executive Fire Consultants and President, Public Safety Broadband Technology Association


  • Tim Grice, National Registered Paramedic and Paramedic Supervisor, Jackson County (GA) Emergency Services
  • Lissa Shirley , Blood Bank Supervisor, Northeast Georgia Health System
  • Tim Turner, EMS Training Division Chief, Walton County (FL) Fire Rescue


For EMS operations, everything comes down to ensuring the best patient outcomes. Having well-trained staff as well as current technology and equipment is critical to doing that, of course. Keeping medication in the proper temperature range – both in storage and on-board EMS vehicles – is just as important. That’s because many medications lose their potency or efficacy if they get too warm or too cold. A new pilot program currently underway in Georgia is also looking at how blood products, which also need to stay within a specific temperature range, can be safely administered by paramedics in the field.

At the same time, various accreditation agencies – including the Commission on Accreditation of Ambulance Services (CAAS) – have begun to require that new procedures be in place for monitoring the temperature of medication. Historically, crews have done this manually – which is time consuming and runs the risk of human error.

To help you gain a better understanding of the complexities involved with monitoring medication and blood products, Temptime, now a part of Zebra technologies, is bringing together a group of EMS and blood bank experts to discuss best practices and the automated solutions available today that can streamline processes. Led by moderator Chief Al Gillespie, our panelists will explore:

  • The how and why of monitoring medication temperature for better patient outcomes and increased front line confidence
  • What you need to know about CAAS accreditation and how automated temperature tracking can help you prepare detailed reporting for compliance
  • Various wireless solutions that provide 24/7 monitoring and cloud-based data storage can take the burden of temperature tracking off busy crews
  • Potential impacts of the pilot study underway examining the efficacy of pre-hospital blood and plasma treatment on EMS vehicles 
  • How whole blood in a rural EMS environment can help save lives


Al Gillespie, President, Executive Fire Consultants  and President, Public Safety Broadband Technology Association

Chief Gillespie has been in fire service for almost 40 years, including 15 years as the Fire Chief of three large city fire departments. He has served as the Interim Executive Chief of East County Fire and Rescue as well as President of the International Association of Chiefs (IAFC) 2011-12. As with all past IAFC Presidents, he continues to serve on the President’s Council. During his tenure as IAFC President Chief Gillespie was instrumental in helping the fire service and all public safety, through Congress, acquire the D-Block bandwidth. He was also a key participant in the Public Safety Alliance, representing the fire service on a number of issues in Washington D.C. Today Chief Gillespie serves as the Principal of Executive Fire Consultants working with a major multi-national communications company and on firefighter health and safety issues.

Tim Grice, Paramedic Supervisor, Jackson County (GA) Emergency Services

Tim Grice is a National Registered Paramedic with 19 years of public safety experience. He has spent the last seven years as a shift supervisor with Jackson County EMS, GEMSA’s 2019 EMS Service of the Year.  Tim has developed electronic systems for scheduling, inventory management, narcotic tracking and other process automations.  He is responsible for the data collection site used by Georgia’s pre-hospital blood product pilot study. 

Lissa Shirley, Blood Bank Supervisor, Northeast Georgia Health System

Lissa Shirley is a 21-year laboratory professional with SBB certification. She has 15 years of management experience in a CAP and AABB accredited hospital transfusion service. As blood bank supervisor, she manages all technical and administrative processes ranging from policy and procedure development and quality assurance, to training and product management. Lissa introduced automated testing equipment and has assisted in the implementation of a patient blood management program, performing ongoing audits to ensure compliance.

Tim Turner, EMS Training Division Chief, Walton County (FL) Fire Rescue

Chief Turner began his career with Walton County EMS in 2004 as an EMT. Shortly after he joined the organization, Walton County EMS transitioned to Walton County Fire Rescue. In 2005, Chief Turner attended paramedic school followed by the fire academy in 2006. Since then he has worked as a tailboard firefighter/paramedic and has been promoted through the ranks to his current position. Chief Turner is currently serving in the role as Battalion Chief of EMS and handles all matters related to EMS, including the recently completed CAAS Accreditation process.