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What is Search & Rescue (SAR)?

Search and Rescue is defined as the deployment, coordination, and use of available resources and personnel in locating, relieving the distress, and preserving the life of and removing an individual who is missing, trapped, or lost in the backcountry, remote areas, or waters of the state. The term includes water and dive rescue.

-North Dakota Century Code


Types of SAR

There are many different skillsets and disciplines in the SAR community. Here is a list of the many common types of SAR:

Ground SAR

  • hasty teams,

  • mantrackers,

  • technical rope rescue,

  • high/low angle rescue,

  • cave rescue,

  • incident management and support,

  • family liaison

  • avalanche 

  •  Ground SAR is commonly referred to as "ground pounders".

Water SAR

  • watercraft teams, (boat, hovercraft, jet ski)

  • submersible drones (ROVs),

  • swift water rescue,

  • divers,

  • sonar.


K9 & Mounted SAR

  • K9 Tracking and Trailing 

  • K9 Ground - Human Remains Detection

  • K9 Water - Human Remains Detection

  • K9 Air Scent / Wilderness

  • K9 Disaster / Urban

  • K9 Avalanche

  • Mounted / Equestrian - Search

  • Mounted / Equestrian - Air Scent


​Urban SAR (USAR)

  • USAR is the term utilized for disaster response in urban environments and is typically performed by fire / rescue departments. USAR is utilized for explosions, tornadoes, structure collapse, and acts of violence / terrorism.

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