Maine Association for Search and Rescue Standard Definitions

The definitions listed here are those adopted by the Maine Association for Search and Rescue (MASAR) for use in its accepted standards. These definitions may not reflect those used by other individuals, groups, or agencies.

Air Scent DogA search dog that will detect airborne human scent.
AlertAn indication by a search dog that it has detected human scent.
Article SearchSearch for any object or article that may contain human scent and which may be above or below ground.
Avalanche SearchSearch for human victims of an avalanche.
Human Remains Detection SearchSearch for human remains that are on the surface or buried on land.
CertifiedFormally recognized by MASAR as meeting MASAR standards.
Contaminated AreaAn area containing air or ground scents of persons other that the victim.
Disaster SearchSearch for humans in rubble or debris, such as collapsed buildings or debris piles, that are a result of natural or human-caused disasters.
Dog TeamOne handler with one dog.
HandlerThe person who controls and directs the dog during a search. This person does not have to be the owner or trainer of the dog.
Heavy BrushGround cover which provides difficult visual as well as physical obstacles to the search team.
ICSIncident Command System
Moderate TerrainTerrain having average ease of walking, average visibility, and no extremes of topography.
Probability of Detection (POD)The percentage of probability that if a subject was actually in the search area that the subject would have been located (detected) by the search effort.
RefindLocating the search subject or article, and leading the handler back to the search subject or article.
Scent ArticleAn item belonging to the search subject, preferably clothing, that holds the subject's scent and that has not been contaminated by the scent(s) of other people.
Tracking/Trailing DogA search dog that will follow the ground scent track/trail of a person who has passed through the area in which the dog is searching.
UnitA group of single SAR resources existing for the purpose of SAR training and operations and demonstrating or providing documentation of the following:
1. Unit organizational structure.
2. Unit standards and the date they were accepted.
3. List of unit members and their status, i.e. operational, training, inactive, etc.
4. Documentation of past training.
5. Provisions for ongoing training.
6. Records of responses to actual searches, if any.
Water SearchSearch for humans who are under water, such as a drowning victim.