Maria Chavez was the leader of the Responders in Appalachia, bearing the rank of Senior Responder. A paramedic and one of the earliest members of the organization in the trying years after the Great War, focusing the first responders on what mattered most: Saving lives and helping people, even if that meant putting their own lives on the line. In the early years, she was focused primarily on medical research and finding out new ways to heal people after the collapse of the medical industry. As the daughter of a nurse and a talented healer, the task was a perfect fit.
Everything changed after the Christmas Flood destroyed Charleston and the Responders were forced to flee north, towards Morgantown. Strong-willed and dedicated, Maria was a natural leader that organized the Responders again, rallying and rebuilding them over the next decade. Together with Melody Larkin, she established the Fire Breathers as a long-range rescue unit for operating in the Ash Heap. However, as a healer trying to rebuild Appalachia - and a civilian - she found it difficult to cooperate with Palading Taggerdy and her Appalachian Brotherhood of Steel. She made a critical error, underestimating the threat posed by the scorched and taking Taggerdy's insistent demands for supplies for the heavy-handed approach of an authoritarian warlord, rather than the desperate plea of a fellow defender of humanity.
As such, the Responders tried to maintain their distance. 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 - and Maria - 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.
Maria Chavez is mentioned only in Fallout 76.