Add Responders

Add responders to ongoing incidents to receive additional assistance

Adding responders allows you to receive assistance from additional users with an incident response. Typical reasons for adding responders include SEV-1/P1 responses, critical incident responses, and mobilizing teams.



This feature is available on Business and Digital Operations plans. Please contact our Sales Team if you would like to upgrade to a plan featuring Add Responders.

Add Responders to an Incident

You can request individual users or escalation policies as responders, with a limit of 300 Responders per incident. The requested users will receive notifications to accept or decline the request to respond to the incident.

There are two ways to add responders to incidents:

Manually Add Responders to an Ongoing Incident

A user who can take action on the open incident can request responders within the web app and mobile app.

In the Web App

On an ongoing, open incident:

  1. In the incident details section of an open incident, click the Add Responders button.
  1. Search and select the name of the responder or escalation policy in the Start typing to search across Escalation Policies and Users field. You may optionally add a message or a conference bridge. Finally, click Add Responder.

When manually triggering an incident:

  1. Click the + New Incident button at the top right within the Incidents page or within a Service page.
  2. In the Additional Responders to Notify section, search and select the name of the responder or escalation policy. When you have entered all necessary information for the incident, click Create Incident.

In the Mobile App


  1. Tap the + button next to Responders, or tap the More button and select Add Responders.
  2. Next, select the name of the responder you would like to add, add an optional message, and tap Notify.


  1. Tap the in the upper right and select Add Responder.
  2. Next, select the name of the responder you would like to add, add an optional message, and tap Notify.

Note: You can add a conference bridge address in the initial request sent to responders.

Automatically Add Responders With Response Plays

Using Add Responders manually is a flexible way to choose the exact responders needed for a given situation. However, determining which users and escalation policies to include (often by referencing written documentation to see who fits the current incident at hand), and then selecting them one by one, chews up valuable response time and is also error-prone.

Instead, if you are frequently mobilizing the same set of responders, you can use response plays to automate and accelerate the mobilization process. A response play lets you configure the users and/or escalation policies to request as additional responders in advance. Then, during an incident, a responder can run the appropriate play by choosing it from their list of available plays.

Response plays can satisfy the following use cases:


Response Plays are available on our Digital Operations plan and as part of our Modern Incident Response package. Please contact our Sales Team if you would like to upgrade to a plan with this feature.

Add Responders Automatically During an Ongoing Incident

From the PagerDuty mobile app, a play can be run on the incident like this:

Running a play from the PagerDuty web app is similarly straightforward:

Immediately as the play is run, all of the additional responders identified in the play are notified, and your response team can quickly mobilize.

Add Responders Automatically at Incident Creation

Some scenarios require a coordinated response immediately, and ideally, mobilizing a response team happens without requiring human intervention. A few situations like this include:

  • When an incident is created from business metric monitoring. e.g. revenue per hour falls below a minimum required value.
  • When an incident is created from user-observable failures. e.g. website is determined to be unreachable by customers.
  • When a critical incident is created based on triage that has occurred upstream of PagerDuty. e.g. an ITSM tool is in use, and only P1 incidents are synchronized with PagerDuty.

In all of these cases it is beneficial to have the response team mobilize immediately upon incident creation.

Responder Notifications

Responder notifications will ask you to accept or decline the request to join an incident. Responder notifications follow the configured high urgency notification rules in the same time and contact method format.

Escalation Policy Responder Notifications


Single Notifications

Added responders are only notified once, even if they are on multiple levels of an escalation policy.

If an escalation policy is requested as a responder, it will follow the escalation path until someone accepts the request to join. Alternatively, the same responder can acknowledge the incident which will also automatically accept the request to join. This escalation path for responders is separate from the escalation policy on-call for the service where the incident was generated.

This extended acknowledge logic also applies to “bulk acknowledgement”. For example, if a user selects 5 incidents to bulk acknowledge and has pending responder notifications for 3 of those 5 incidents, the bulk update will also auto-accept the three responder requests.

Status of Responders

To view the status of all requested responders for an incident, head to the incident details section of the particular incident in the web app. On the right-hand side within the incident, there will be a list of responders and icons to indicate whether they have joined, declined, or have yet to respond to your request.

There are 3 possible responder statuses: Joined if the requested responder accepted the request, Declined if they declined the request, and Pending if they have yet to respond.

In the timeline of the incident in the web app, you can see when a requested responder accepted or declined the request.

In the mobile app, additional responders have been requested if you see Coordinated Response next to an incident. You can also view if a responder has joined or declined the request within the timeline of the incident.

Other Features to Facilitate Incident Response

Instead of adding responders for additional assistance to the incident at hand, you can:

Updated 16 days ago

Add Responders

Add responders to ongoing incidents to receive additional assistance

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