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 dog A search dog that will detect airborne human scent.
Alert An indication by a search dog that it has detected human scent.
Article search Search for any object or article that may contain human scent and which may be above or below ground.
Avalanche search Search for human victims of an avalanche
Human Remains Detection search Search for human remains that are on the surface or buried on land.
Certified Formally recognized by MASAR as meeting MASAR standards.
Contaminated area An area containing air or ground scents of persons other that the victim.
Disaster search Search for humans in rubble or debris, such as collapsed buildings or debris piles, that are a result of natural or human-caused disasters.
Dog team One handler with one dog.
Handler The 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 brush Ground cover which provides difficult visual as well as physical obstacles to the search team.
ICS Incident Command System
Moderate terrain Terrain 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.
Refind Locating the search subject or article, and leading the handler back to the search subject or article.
Scent article An 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 dog A 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.
Unit A 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 search Search for humans who are under water, such as a drowning victim.
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