Panther Response Team (PRT)

The UWM Panther Response Team (PRT) facilitates opportunities for UW-Milwaukee students, faculty, and staff to train and serve with agencies and non-profit organizations that support individuals and communities as they prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters. Opportunities include:

  • Helping to clean up a community after an emergency or disaster,
  • Installing smoke detectors in homes after a neighborhood fire,
  • Assessing the need for lifesaving equipment such as AED devices,
  • Building and rehabilitating homes in urban and rural communities,
  • Volunteering at a temporary shelter after a tornado or flood.

We are currently recruiting PRT Members! To apply, please fill out the PRT Application, but note that additional materials may be required by our agency and organizational partners including background checks, waivers, and training:

FAQs About UWM Panther Response Team

PRT Members will serve with agencies and non-profit organizations that support individuals and communities as they prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies and disasters. Service opportunities with the PRT may occur locally, regionally, and nationally. PRT Members are also able to train and volunteer independently of the PRT with our agency and non-profit organizational partners.   

There are many opportunities to serve with the PRT, from one-day events to deployments which can last for one to two weeks at a time. However, volunteering in emergency and disaster response is often unpredictable, and generally requires an understanding of your own availability and the needs of agencies, non-profit organizations, and the communities they serve. For example, some volunteers operate on scheduled “shifts,” where individuals make themselves available to respond during a certain time period. In other cases, volunteers may “deploy” for an extended period of time, which may require a volunteer to request leave from their job and/or educational responsibilities. You will need to work with the PRT Program Manager ( and our partners to come to an agreement that works best for all parties. To learn more please review the PRT Program Guidelines which outlines program expectations.  

All PRT Members will complete two introductory online training modules developed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which will introduce volunteers to systems of emergency and disaster management in the United States. Additional training may be required by our agency and non-profit organizational partners, and will likely be dependent upon specific volunteer opportunities and the interests and learning goals of PRT Members. No previous disaster-related experience is needed to become a PRT Member. The cost of training, as well as travel, lodging, meals, and most supplies while deployed or on a service project, will be covered by the UWM-CCBLLR and/or the partnering agency or non-profit organization. To learn more, and for access to the required online training modules, please review the  PRT Program Guidelines.

After completing an online application, you will be asked to attend New Member On-Boarding and Orientation (OBO). OBO introduces the basic requirements of the PRT Position. This overview of the people, processes, procedures, policies, and supporting systems is essential to your role on the PRT. OBO concludes with identifying a community partner(s) and beginning the on-boarding process. OBO lasts approximately one hour and is held at the Center for Community-Based Learning, Leadership, and Research (CCBLLR) in Union Room G28. OBO can be scheduled as a one-on-one meeting or in a group setting Monday through Friday. To request an OBO, contact the Program Manager