A roster ready at a moment’s notice

Working with fire fighters we don’t always get the luxury of doing a complete discovery process. This is especially true with wildland fire fighters who need to be ready to go at a moment’s notice here in the Pacific Northwest. That is their culture and we understand that. They are also very direct and good about explaining their needs. They trusted us to find a solution that would allow them to access a high level roster of personnel with specific qualifications while out in the field. 

 Working with members of the Wildland Fire Committee as part of the Washington State Council of Fire Fighters, we were able to develop a low code/no code personnel roster system. 

A coordinated effort

There is a lot more to fighting fires than simply having boots on the ground. It takes immense coordination with the right people in the right places to keep the public safe. Wildland fire fighters with specific skills in operation, command, finance, logistics, and planning are needed regularly throughout the Wildfire season.

In advance of 2022’s wildfire season, the WSCFF reached out to us with the need to build a low-cost, high-use system that could not only hold, organize, and track this information, but also be easily accessible on mobile devices, since people in the field are wielding mobile phones, not laptops.

Hand with wildfire Airtable App
Wildfire roster fields in Airtable


When creative duty calls, Rhizome answers. We threw our thinking caps on and got to work brainstorming potential ideas. Our solution manifested itself as a roster held in an Airtable base, whose fields are populated through a connected web form that is available to members via a button on the WSCFF website. Through the use of automations and extensions, we were also able to allow personnel to update their own information post-submission, without having direct access to edit the Airtable base. A customized view of this data is then embedded on the website, and is also accessible via the Airtable mobile app.

WSCFF Wildland Fire Landing Page

Signup page on the WSCFF.org website

Wildfire roster change request form

Change request form helps firefighters update their information.


Automations in Airtable allow us to configure custom trigger-action workflows directly within our Airtable base. For this project, a few automations and triggers, and scripts were created to ensure that when a record is created or changed, the right people are notified or specific information is automatically generated.

Airtable Automation

First automation, setting trigger actions

The first automation occurs whenever a record is created. This can be the result of a new form submission or by using a link that allows the user to update their existing information. When a record is created, the Automation is set to send an email notification to the user and admins with a link to a unique pre-filled form that’s tied to their Record ID in case they need to update their information. Here, users can change their information and submit the form again.

Airtable Automation

Second automation, sets a trigger action to run a script.

Second automation, sets a trigger action to run a script.

If a user has submitted updated information, the Automation will find the two records, update the original record to match the new record, and send an email notification to the user and admin. If not, then the Automation will finish. Next, another Automation runs a custom script that deletes the older record, leaving the user with their latest updated record.

Airtable Automation

Third automation, sends email notifications for change requests.


With each separate piece of functionality working together in harmony, the result is a low-cost system that is not only easy to use by fire fighters, but simple for us to manage as well. This project was also unique to us, as it marked the first time we’ve used Airtable’s automations and had our developer, Megan, write a specific script to make it all work.. We are always excited to try something new and are thrilled that we could build a tool that increases efficiency for fire fighters to do their jobs and ultimately, save lives.

Kudos go to: Robert Packer for coordinating all the fields and testing incessantly, Megan Durham for writing a custom script, and Jen Pennington for Airtable Strategy.

See more of our work highlighted as part of Airtable’s blog called, “For the Record.”