Bradenton Fire Department Case Study

By the Numbers: 57 Suppression Personnel 10 Administrative Staff Population served: 53,000

March 16, 2021


For most of the 17 years that Rebecca Desch has been the Program Administrator for the City of Bradenton Fire Department, the department used a local network server to house all its important files.

When the server suffered a major crash, Bradenton Fire Department administrators found that many important files had been corrupted or had not been backed up at all. Recovering from the crash took the department several years, and it opened Desch’s eyes to the need for a new way to manage and store documents. When she discovered PowerDMS while researching another project, she realized it could solve many of the issues the department had faced. To her, it seemed almost too good to be true.


The Bradenton Fire Department started using PowerDMS in April 2015. First, Desch uploaded all organizational documents to the PowerDMS system, ensuring that all department personnel can access essential files even if Bradenton’s internal servers go down. The department also started using PowerDMS form templates and workflows to complete annual employee evaluations for all personnel on staff. This has vastly improved communication and accountability throughout the process, as everyone involved can see who has access to the evaluation and who still has to sign off as it passes up the line of command from the lieutenant to the fire chief

"There is a level of comfort and security knowing that wherever we are, no matter what’s happening - if it’s a blue-sky day, and we face another server crash, or if we have a natural disaster that causes us to leave the building - we can still access everything that’s crucial for day-to-day activity. That is tremendous. We’re able to interact with all of our department material via PowerDMS in a way that we could never have utilized the network server."

Rebecca Desch


PowerDMS has improved process efficiencies and accountability in the Bradenton Fire Department. Staff know they can see and access critical job content from anywhere, at anytime.The department is now able to confirm that every firefighter in every shift sees and signs off on updated SOGs/SOPs, which allows for greater transparency and accountability. Most importantly, PowerDMS provides a “paper trail” and helps protect the Bradenton Fire Department from litigation by keeping everyone informed and equipped with the information and tools they need to do their job correctly.

  • No way to track SOG/SOP sign offs
  • Inefficient internal processes
  • Unreliable document storage
  • Increased control over who can
    view documents
  • Streamlined workflow for documents
    and forms
  • Secure, central location for all files
  • Certainty every firefighter in every shift sees and signs updated SOGs/SOPs
  • Streamlined internal processes save the department valuable time and money
  • Peace of mind in knowing everyone in the department has 24/7 access to all critical job information from any internet enabled device

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