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All across America, they were the first to run into danger: the brave fire fighters, police officers and medical professionals who selflessly served their communities. After the bombs fell, they formed the Responders. Their mission – help each other… no matter the cost.— @Fallout[2]

The Responders were a volunteer disaster relief organization operating in Appalachia after the Great War, dedicated to helping local communities survive. By 2102, the faction had been wiped out. However, in 2103, when people began returning to Appalachia, people like Heather Ellis attempted to revive the Responders.

BackgroundEdit

After the Great War, Appalachia's emergency personnel mobilized to help their fellow citizens. These Responders became part government, part crisis relief,[3] providing automated survival training to anyone in need.[4] As survival and security became paramount after the devastation, the Responders desperately tried to help as many of their neighbors as they could.[5] Their goals included helping people who made it through the nuclear holocaust or were born after the dust has settled. They set up numerous locations across West Virginia in a bid to establish some semblance of law and order.[6]

Charleston became the heart of Appalachian reconstruction with the Responders at the forefront - then still considered "just" the first responders, the city had an actual shot at rebuilding fast and hard. Problems with the sheer volume of refugees, however, forced them to deny requests for aid and supplies that could not be handled on the spot. That included survivors from the Pleasant Valley Ski Resort. Humiliated and left without help, the survivors banded together under David Thorpe, a cold and brutal man who turned them into a terrifying raider warband. It proved to be a costly mistake.[7]

Christmas FloodEdit

Charleston grew in the meantime and by 2082, a raider war band led by Rosalynn Jeffries was routed handily by the Responders, after they were spotted early. Rosalynn was injured and taken prisoner along with some of the other raiders. By then, the Responders were successfully running the city. They were confident in their position against the raiders and thought that facing them on their home turf in the mountains would be ideal. The Responders hoped they could get them to leave them alone in exchange for prisoners. They were wrong. Thorpe was convinced that Rosalynn was dead and wanted revenge. Using mini nukes stolen from the Brotherhood of Steel, he blew up the Summersville Dam on Christmas morning, 2082.[8]

In a flash, the Responders lost almost everything, including their homes, supplies and most of their friends and family. Although they suffered under the devastation, they survived, keeping the idea of the Responders alive and resettling at the Morgantown Airport.

RebuildingEdit

Despite the devastation, the Responders did not give up. Morgantown proved to be a jackpot, as after containing the trouble with the local gangs, they had a centrally-located base, distance between them and the nearest raider clans in the mountains, and contact with the Free States and the Appalachian Brotherhood of Steel. They even expanded into Flatwoods[9] and began restarting some of the old infrastructures in the town to produce food and provide security.[10]

Their access to food, medicine, and other essential supplies was the foundation of their relationship with the Free States and the Brotherhood, with caravans crossing through the Savage Divide regularly. Four years after the flood, in January 2086, they reached the apex of their power and influence as they fought against the super mutants in Huntersville alongside power-armored troops of Paladin Taggerdy. The victory seemed to signal the beginning of a new era for Appalachia, as the Responders and Brotherhood forged an alliance and their patrols even managed to suppress the mountain raiders (those not already taken care of by the elusive Order of Mysteries).[11]

However, things would not go their way. The Enclave, hidden away from prying eyes, split apart in the civil war after President Thomas Eckhart decided to have his way and force the automated security systems to raise the DEFCON level by releasing scorchbeasts on Appalachia, after subjecting it to Chinese drones, the Huntersville mutants, and other monstrosities. The civil war that destroyed the faction set the scorchbeasts loose, which rapidly infested the Cranberry Bog and started spreading out into the adjacent areas. The appearance of the scorched was a shock to all survivors who came into contact with them, as was the plague they spread. The Responders decided to fight back, organizing a special fighting force called the Fire Breathers using the experience of Melody Larkin and Hank Madigan, a Brotherhood deserter, to train and organize the elite fighters. They would face the horrors of the wasteland and protect the lands west of Appalachia from the scorched, encountering strange hostile creatures along the way.[12]

Failure of visionEdit

However, the Responders failed to consider the big picture. Maria Chavez, their de facto leader, did not believe the threat was as severe as the Brotherhood made it out to be and disliked their militarism and repeated demands for supplies. What just a few years earlier promised to be a long-lasting alliance was unraveling fast, culminating on March 12, 2095, when the Brotherhood demanded information about Amy Kerry's project. At gunpoint. Although Chavez relented, the relations were soured permanently.[13] The fall of the Brotherhood in August 2095 left the Responders alone on the board and it was a matter of time until the scorchbeasts finally took them out. The raiders, desperately fleeing the Savage Divide, swept through the Forest, taking out many of the Responder outposts, including Flatwoods.

The Responder leadership realized their mistake, but too late to make a difference. The research project into a scorched vaccine at AVR Medical Center was launched too late to provide a cure in time to protect the Fire Breathers. By September 2096, all of the pieces were in place to create it, but communications breakdowns due to constant scorched attacks prevented Dr. Hudson from completing it and the Fire Breathers were forced to launch their operation to seal the Big Bend Tunnel and buy time for Appalachia without it. The operation took place in late October and failed. So did Hank Madigan on his attempt to establish the Scorched Detection System developed in conjunction with the Free States, captured and killed by the raiders. Finally, Morgantown Airport fell after a desperate defense against hordes of scorchbeasts and their minions on November 7th, 2096. The Responders were wiped out.[14]

By 2102, nearly all of these locations have been overrun by mutants or were otherwise lost, leaving behind a plethora of artifacts and functional equipment for dwellers emerging from Vault 76 to pick over and use to rebuild civilization again.[6]

However, about a year later, in 2103, as people came back to Appalachia, Heather Ellis, who had returned with the Settlers, moved to Flatwoods, discovered the history of the Responders, and decided to revive the group and their efforts by becoming one herself, continuing to live in Flatwoods with her dog Chloe and sporting the Responders paramedic jumpsuit to show her support to revive the group. Another girl, Tiffany Brantley, decideed to join the elite Fire Breathers and is with Vendor bot Mack and the firefighter protectrons at the Charleston Fire Department, already suited up in her Fire Breather uniform, currently stuck on having to take the exam.

OrganizationEdit

Photo responderleaders

Responder founders: from left to right, Jeff Nakamura, Maria Chavez, Melody Larkin, Sanjay Kumar

The Responders had a decentralized, horizontal structure designed to address the needs of people under their care and aid them in need. Regular supply trains were established between the nearby farms and the Responder headquarters, with full members assigned to their protection, such as Jerry Abernathy. For rapid response in emergencies, the Responders also established an emergency response team, trained by Felix O'Dell and consisting of Derek Castle (guard and escort), Veronica Chang and Kevin Trayjor (field medics).[15]

In the early years, Responders largely operated under their pre-existing chains of command (police, paramedics, firefighters, etc.), ignoring attempts by the Charleston Emergency Government to assert their leadership over them. However, this early structure was far from unified and required a good deal of tact and diplomacy to keep them from falling apart. This problem was exposed less than a year after the war, when the responders grappled with the problem of Chief Mayfield's heavy-handed rule of Morgantown. After he ordered his police officers to open fire on the rebellious VTU students and imposed a mandatory curfew, Melody Larkin realized that moving on him would risk splitting law enforcement responders from the organization.[16]

Ironically, it was the Charleston Flood that solidified the leadership structured and forced it to reform into a much more efficient, united structure. After relocating operations to Morgantown Airport, the faction was effectively guided by five senior members: Maria Chavez (senior Responder and de facto leader), Claire Hudson (chief medical officer), Sanjay Kumar (chief engineer), Melody Larkin (combat trainer), and Jeff Nakamura (quartermaster). However, the division of labor was handled on a merit basis, with the senior Responders working together with junior members. The Fire Breathers combat unit was a notable exception, operating with a strict chain of command under Melody, as a matter of necessity.

RanksEdit

FO76 Responders Poster Volunteers Needed!

A Responders poster calling for volunteers

  • Senior Responders: The factor leadership of the organization, typically people who have been with the organization since the beginning.
  • Responders: were fully trained members of the faction who each had a job, a specialty, and housing assignment. The job of Responders was to help everyone, including volunteers and candidates.
    • Fire Breathers: An elite combat unit specializing in fighting in toxic areas of the wasteland, especially the Ash Heap.
  • Volunteers: People who underwent the automated training, enjoying weekly rations from the self-serve kiosks, access to the Forest Watch and other Responder communications, and a discount at the official vendors. Like Responders, volunteers also had jobs, specialties, and housing assignments. Survivors registered to become volunteers with a Responder or at the self-serve registration kiosk. Survivors and candidates became volunteers by participating in two experiments and/or training sessions.
  • Volunteer Candidates who are undergoing training (whether automated or under another Responder), or are too young to become Volunteers or Responders. At the age of 13, candidates could be promoted. While candidates were assigned housing, they were not assigned jobs or specialties.

DivisionsEdit

Fire BreathersEdit

Main article: Fire Breathers

Led by Melody Larkin, this division was assembled with the goal of exploring the Ash Heap sometime after the Responders had been formed.[17] They were based in the former Charleston Fire Department and made up of a mix of pre-War Charleston F.D. and post-War volunteers. Player characters can become Fire Breathers by undertaking the requisite exams during the quest Into the Fire.

Flatwoods paramedicsEdit

Their cosmetic uniform is rewarded upon the completion of the main questline in Flatwoods. Along with the primary Responder forces in Flatwoods, they provided medical services and helped in recruiting efforts before the Scorched overran Morgantown Airport.

Responders' police forceEdit

Their uniform is rewarded upon the completion of the main questline in Morgantown.

  • Morgantown P.D. - assisted in the large scale defense of Morgantown Airport and also protected civilians within the city itself. Most of the police force was wiped out in the failed defense against the Scorched, and many police officers are seen to have turned into Scorched themselves.
  • Charleston P.D. - responsible for maintaining law and order in the city of Charleston, they were wiped out along with most of the city following their capture of raider Rosalynn Jeffries, which her partner David Thorpe responded to by stealing a mini nuke and destroying Summersville Dam in what would come to be called The Christmas Flood.

TechnologyEdit

Responders relied heavily on existing infrastructure and equipment they recovered from police, medical, and firefighting units across Appalachia. Most notably, they had a large network of repurposed protectrons and eyebots to assist the community and automate training and labor, even though they tended to be a little unreliable due to mechanical jams and faulty programming. Sanjay Kumar and Miguel Caldera were indispensable for maintaining the fleet and keeping it operational.[18]

Forest WatchEdit

The Forest Watch was an automated network of robots established to monitor the Forest region, where the Responders operated. Primarily an early warning system, it was established to compensate for the Responder's attrition rate due to the pressure from the raiders, Scorched and other problems. Robots were easier to replace, maintain, and allowed monitoring around the clock. Sanjay Kumar and Chelsea McKee were responsible for establishing and maintaining the network. Their work proved to be particularly resilient, as the Watch remained active as late as 2102, broadcasting automated alerts about rogue robots, massing mutated wolf packs and other warnings. They proved indispensable to the Vault 76 dwellers in their re-emergence.[19][20][21]

Outside relationsEdit

The Responders had an uneasy relationship with the Brotherhood of Steel, as the Brotherhood tried to recruit skilled Responders away to join the fledgling Appalachian chapter. The organization did not have the equipment or expertise that came with being a former military unit like the Brotherhood, as much of their equipment came from their origins as civilian emergency services, meaning members of that caliber were both needed and in short supply. Like the Brotherhood, the Responders fought against the encroaching Scorched, and also researched a means to develop a vaccine against the Scorched Plague, but their efforts ultimately fell short and they were wiped out sometime before Vault 76 opened. There is evidence of a Responders Radio station that operated prior to the group's destruction.[22] The Responders also collaborated to some extent with the Free States, such as through aiding the residents of Harpers Ferry before and after the Free States' arrival in the town.[23] After they rebuilt Harpers Ferry, they also created a trade route to Charleston in the hopes of furthering their relations with the Responders, though it is unknown if they persisted after the city's destruction.[24]

Notable membersEdit

See also: Fire Breathers
Name Role Time period
Bernie Fire Breathers, robot 2077–onwards
Responders vendor Whitespring Resort, robot 2077–onwards
Vendor bot Responder Various locations, robot 2077–onwards
Vendor bot Responder Various locations, random encounter, robot 2077–onwards
Steelheart Morgantown, robot 2077–onwards
Mr. Fluffy Morgantown Airport, robot 2077–onwards
Vendor bot Bob Flatwoods, robot 2077–onwards
Vendor bot Chad Camden Park, robot 2077–onwards
Vendor bot Greg Grafton, robot 2077–onwards
Vendor bot Mack Charleston, robot 2077–onwards
Maria Chavez Senior Responder 2077–2096
Dr. Claire Hudson Chief medical officer 2077–2096
Sanjay Kumar Chief engineer 2077–2096
Melody Larkin Combat trainer 2077–2096
Jeff Nakamura Quartermaster 2077–2096
Derek Castle Rapid response team, guard 2077–2096
Veronica Chang Rapid response team, field medic 2077–2096
Kevin Trayjor Rapid response team, field medic 2077–2096
Jerry Abernathy Supply train guard 2077–2096
Chelsea McKee Forest Watch, mechanic 2077–2096
Atkins Major crimes division, Charleston 2077–2096
Goldman Major crimes division 2077–2096
Smith Major crimes division, Charleston 2077–2096
Dassa Ben-Ami Flatwoods, leader 2077–2096
Miguel Caldera Flatwoods, roboticist 2077–2096
Colonel Flatwoods, volunteer 2077–2096
Kesha McDermott Flatwoods, water treatment specialist 2077–2096
Delbert Winters Flatwoods, cook and trainer 2077–2096
A. Huso Point Pleasant, search team 2077–2096
Fields Point Pleasant, guard 2077–2096
Jackson Point Pleasant, guard 2077–2096
J. Lake Point Pleasant, search team 2077–2096
McCoy Point Pleasant, guard 2077–2096
M. Martinez Point Pleasant, search team 2077–2096
M. Sparkman Point Pleasant, search team 2077–2096
Q. Moore Point Pleasant, search team 2077–2096
S. Powers Point Pleasant, search team 2077–2096
R. Tate Point Pleasant, search team 2077–2096
T. Lambert Point Pleasant, search team 2077–2096
S. Whitaker Point Pleasant, search team 2077–2096
Lucas de Blaison Volunteer 2077–2096
Casey Volunteer 2077–2096
De'Andre Volunteer 2077–2096
Marcus Haines Volunteer 2077–2096
Olivia P. Henderson Quarantine guard 2077–2096
Janson Volunteer 2077–2096
Wyatt Johnson Quarantine guard 2077–2096
Major Darion Jones Ammunition maker 2077–2096
Dr. Madison Psychologist 2077–2096
Cullen McLeeder Volunteer 2077–2096
Felix O'Dell Emergency response trainer 2077–2096
Paul Scout 2077–2096
Scott Shepherd Nurse 2077–2096
David Strauss Computer technician 2077–2096
Tammy Scout 2077–2096
Tanner Volunteer 2077–2096
Lillian Thompkins Provisioner 2077–2096
Caleb Widmer Paramedic 2077–2096
Garry Wilkins Courier 2077–2096
Sofie Yates Volunteer 2077–2096
Ryan Zelnack Chems expert 2077–2096
Heather Ellis Flatwoods, second founder and volunteer 2102–onwards
Tiffany Brantley Charleston, Fire Breather initiate 2102–onwards
The Resident Optional 2102–onwards

Related questsEdit

Interactions with the player characterEdit

NotesEdit

The generic police uniform counts for purposes of the "Level up while wearing" challenge requiring a Responders uniform.

AppearancesEdit

The Responders appear only in Fallout 76, introduced in the Wastelanders update.

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Sharon's angry letter
  2. Fallout Twitter
  3. Fallout 76 loading screens: "After the Great War, Appalachia's emergency personnel mobilized to help their fellow citizens. These Responders became part government, part crisis relief."
  4. Fallout 76 loading screens: "The Responders provided automated survival training to anyone in need. And it was needed quite a bit."
  5. Fallout 76 loading screens: "Survival and security became paramount after the devastation of the Great War, and the Responders desperately tried to help as many of their neighbors as they could."
  6. 6.0 6.1 Fallout 76 Official Game Guide
  7. The Christmas Flood
  8. The Christmas Flood
  9. Flatwoods terminal entries; Delbert's Terminal
  10. Event: Feed the People
  11. Riverside Manor terminal entries
  12. Lt. Thomas' Action Report
  13. Tygart water treatment terminal entries; Amy Kerry's terminal
  14. AVR Medical Center terminal entries; AVR Medical laboratory terminal, Project Journal
  15. Morgantown Airport terminal entries
  16. Charleston Capitol Building terminal entries; Poole's terminal, Morgantown
  17. The Fire Breathers
  18. Responder protectron config tape
  19. Morgantown Airport terminal entries; Responders HQ terminal, Other Members
  20. Fertile Soil message: "Automated message. The Forest Watch detects all Supervisors down. Good job. Responder team proceed to the Ag Center and get to the Mainframe. You need to reset the Farmhand targetting parameters. That should keep our people safe in the area. Be careful."
  21. Morgantown terminal entries; Responders HQ terminal, Day 24
  22. Riverside Manor terminal entries
  23. Lydia's journal page 20
  24. Harpers Ferry Armory terminal entries; Raleigh's terminal, Trade Routes
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