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 began attempting to revive the Responders.
- 1 Background
- 2 Organization
- 3 Divisions
- 4 Technology
- 5 Outside relations
- 6 Notable members
- 7 Related quests
- 8 Interactions with the player character
- 9 Notes
- 10 Appearances
- 11 Gallery
- 12 References
After the Great War, Appalachia's emergency personnel mobilized to help their fellow citizens. These Responders became part government, part crisis relief, providing automated survival training to anyone in need. As survival and security became paramount after the devastation, the Responders desperately tried to help as many of their neighbors as they could. 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.
Charleston, as the West Virginia capital, 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.
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 via the Blackwater Bandits, he blew up the Summersville Dam on Christmas morning, 2082.
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.
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 and began restarting some of the old infrastructures in the town to produce food and provide security.
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).
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.
Failure of vision
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. 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 7, 2096. The Responders were wiped out.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
Led by Melody Larkin, this division was assembled with the goal of exploring the Ash Heap sometime after the Responders had been formed. 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.
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 force
- 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.
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.
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 Dwellers in their re-emergence.
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. 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. 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.
|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|
|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|
|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|
|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|
|Olivia P. Henderson||Quarantine guard||2077–2096|
|Wyatt Johnson||Quarantine guard||2077–2096|
|Major Darion Jones||Ammunition maker||2077–2096|
|Felix O'Dell||Emergency response trainer||2077–2096|
|David Strauss||Computer technician||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 Vault Dweller||Optional||2102–onwards|
Interactions with the player character
- The Responders can be discovered immediately after leaving Vault 76, with the mummified body of a volunteer in a Red Rocket jumpsuit found leaning against a lamp on the terrace outside.
- Registering as a Responder Volunteer is an indirect part of the First Contact quest, where the player characters are told to find the Vault 76 overseer in Flatwoods. They can use the still-active self-register kiosks to start their registration as a certified Responder, starting Thirst Things First.
- The main quest then leads one to join the Fire Breathers, an elite unit of the Responders, before setting them loose on Appalachia.
- Vendor bot Responders are located primarily at train stations and their strongholds.
The generic police uniform counts for purposes of the "Level up while wearing" challenge requiring a Responders uniform.
- Sharon's angry letter
- Fallout Twitter
- 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."
- Fallout 76 loading screens: "The Responders provided automated survival training to anyone in need. And it was needed quite a bit."
- 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."
- Fallout 76 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide p.5: "THE RESPONDERS
After the Great War, Appalachia's emergency personnel mobilized to help their fellow citizens. These Responders became part government, part crisis relief. The Responders provided automated survival training to anyone in need. And it was needed quite a bit. 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."
(Fallout 76 Vault Dweller's Survival Guide faction profiles)
- The Christmas Flood
- Flatwoods terminal entries; Delbert's Terminal
- Event: Feed the People
- Riverside Manor terminal entries
- Lt. Thomas' Action Report
- Tygart water treatment terminal entries; Amy Kerry's terminal
- AVR Medical Center terminal entries; AVR Medical laboratory terminal, Project Journal
- Morgantown Airport terminal entries
- Charleston Capitol Building terminal entries; Poole's terminal, Morgantown
- The Fire Breathers
- Responder Protectron config tape
- Morgantown Airport terminal entries; Responders HQ terminal, Other Members
- 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."
- Morgantown terminal entries; Responders HQ terminal, Day 24
- Lydia's journal page 20
- Harpers Ferry Armory terminal entries; Raleigh's terminal, Trade Routes