By default, all app users start at Citizens. Citizens are users which are not signaling that they are ready or able to assist others during a routine help request, emergency, or disaster. Only users with some level of training should consider switching to a Responder role.
To be a Responder, you must update the app version to Plus or higher. Plus users can be responders but cannot join organizations or use the advanced functionality of the PubSafe portal. Responders operating independently could be contacted to respond to a help request by an NGO or other organization but this would only happen if responders with an organization are not available. Operating as an independent responder is discouraged for a variety of reasons. Find a non-government organization (NGO) like the United Cajun Navy, Red Cross, or Team Rubicon and join their team. There is safety in numbers and teamwork always provides a better response than lone responders. In some cases, it may be illegal to be in some areas without being part of an approved NGO.
Responders are required to list skills, resources, and qualifications so dispatchers can match the right responder to a help or emergency request.
After upgrading to Plus or higher, select the More menu in the lower right corner, and then Change Role. A responder icon on the map has an astricts (*) in the middle. The color of the icon indicates the responder's mission readiness status (mission-ready, off duty, on a mission, etc)