Glossary

Below are some general search and rescue terms used on this website. Some common abbreviations are listed in parentheses. 

  • Command Post (CP) - The base of operations for a search.  Sometimes called the Incident Command Post (ICP). 
  • Critical Separation - The distance between searchers in a grid search at which a sample search subject is barely perceptible. 
  • Incident Command System (ICS) - A system for organizing an emergency response commonly used in Search and Rescue operations. 
  • Initial Planning Point (IPP) - The point around which a search is planned initially.  Usually either the LKP or PLS (see below).
  • Last Known Position (LKP) - The last place where the search subject is known to have been, either by a witness report or by strong evidence, such as their abandon vehicle or campsite. 
  • Point Last Seen (PLS) - The last place a witness reports to have seen the search subject. 
  • Probability of Area (POA) - The likelihood of a subject being in a particular region.
  • Probability of Detection (POD) - The likelihood that a subject or a clue will be detected by a particular search action.
  • Rest of the World (ROW) - A search segment which encompasses all of the world which is not within the search area.
  • Search Area - The entire region that is being searched during a Search and Rescue operation.
  • Search Segment - A portion of the search area, used for planning and operation purposes. 

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