Maine All Terrain Search & Rescue Bylaws


  1. Organization name is Maine All Terrain Search and Rescue; hereinafter referred as MATSAR.


  1. MATSAR is organized as a volunteer, non-profit, service organization to provide assistance in search and rescue operations within the state of Maine and surrounding territories. If requested by an official local or state agency, MATSAR may assist in a wilderness recovery of vehicle stuck, damaged, destroyed, flooded, or burned within our ability.
  2. MATSAR will cooperate and assist any requesting agency or party, pursuant to MASAR standards and law.
  3. MATSAR is organized and exclusively for education and charitable purposes under 501 (C) (3) for Internal Revenue Code or Corresponding section of future tax code. None of of its earnings may inure to any private shareholder or individual. However, MATSAR is empowered to pay compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in the purpose clause hereof. MATSAR may not attempt to influence legislation as a substantial part of its activities and it may not participate in any campaign activity for or against political candidates.



  1. Membership is open to anyone who is at least 18 years of age.
  2. All members are probationary members for the first 12 months, they may not hold an elected office or be allowed to vote. At the end of 12 months, the board of directors will evaluate a probationary member to determine member classification.
  3. Membership dues are set annually by the Board Of Directors and to be submitted at the time of application. Due renewal will be required annually at the anniversary of application submission. After a member has failed to pay dues for two consecutive years, a member will have to reapply to the unit; the board will give 30 days notice, dues may not be waived.


  1. Members who are not current on dues shall not hold elected offices or be allowed to vote.


  1. Member Termination suspension:
    1.  Any member may be suspended from a mission or training session if the party in question appears to be influenced by drugs or alcohol, is not properly equipped, performs technical skills in which they are not trained, places others in unnecessary physical harm, or is physically unable to do the duties required of him/her.

    2.  Any member may be suspended or terminated by decision of the Board for actions contrary to the MATSAR by-laws, violation of local, state, or federal laws or MASAR policy.
  2. Any member who has failed to meet the requirements stated in the policies issued by the Board of Directors shall be notified in writing that he or she is no longer a member. Membership may be reinstated at probationary level upon decision of the Board of Directors.


  1. Any member who has a complaint shall submit it in writing to the President who shall forward it to the board of directors for consideration. If the complaint involves the president, the complaint should be forwarded to another officer; any complaints involving an officer will excuse said officer from board review of complaints.
  2. Any member who has filed a complaint shall speak with any member about or publicly discuss a complaint of another MATSAR member or any MATSAR confidential information.
  3. Membership Classifications:
    1. Probationary Member: a person who has been in the unit less than 12 months and has not completed the necessary certifications to become a team member.  Not allowed to conduct
    2. Trainee: is a Probationary member who is actively working to achieve recognition from the board of directors to become operational as a search team member. May work under the direct supervision of someone with a higher classification; team member or team leader. After 12 months a Trainee is allowed to vote or hold office.
    3. Probationary Search Team Member: A Person who has completed all of the certifications required to be Basic Search and Rescue certified through MASAR shall be considered a Probationary Team Member. In either case a probationary member or team member may not hold an elected office or vote for the first 12 months. May work in a search and rescue operation without direct supervision.
    4. Supporting Unit Member: an individual who has been with the unit for at least 12 months, but has not completed MASAR certifications or is not physically able to be a search and rescue team member. This person may help with Logistics, communications, record keeping, unit organization, or other task in-directly assisting in search and rescue and in support of MATSAR. Member does not assist in field work such as grid work or recoveries.  A member may hold an elected office and vote. First aid/CPR and ICS 100 required at a minimum. Member is familiar with MASAR and MATSAR policies and bylaws. Works in direct supervision of a Search Team Leader.
    5. Search Team Member: An individual who has completed the requirements for BASAR outlined by MASAR. The individual has been with the unit for at least 12 months and regular attendance. A team member may vote and hold elected office.  Level 2 team member requires MATSAR offroad operator course and Maine State ATV operators course.
    6. Team Leader: an individual who has at least 36 months and regular attendance with the unit and has completed MASAR Search Team Leader training and certification..  Performs roles such as but not limited to safety officer and Incident commander for non-technical rescue. Has completed level 2 Team member Requirements.


  1. Only voting members may fill elected positions
  2. Elections of officers shall take place annually in January. The meeting prior to elections the floor should be made available for nomination proposals by any non-probationary member.
  3. Newly elected Officers will assume their responsibilities in March
  4. Elected positions:


Vice President


Board Members (minimum 3)


    1. The President Shall:
      1. Act as the public representative of the group.
      2. Preside at all regular meetings
      3. Insure that meetings take place and that goals are accomplished
      4. Oversee the entire MATSAR operation and advise and counsel subordinate officers as needed.
      5. Bring relevant ideas, issues, and concerns forward for group response and action.
      6. Be the deciding vote in case of a tie vote
      7. Maintain or cause to be maintained a website for the organization.


    1. The Vice-president shall:
      1. Assist the President, and assume the President’s duties as needed.
      2. Be responsible for implementation of training schedules.
      3. Chair training planning meetings
      4. Maintain or cause to be maintained training records for each member.
      5. Assume the role of President in their absence.
    2. The Secretary shall:
      1. Maintain records of membership and minutes of meetings.
      2. Monitor insurance and liability.
      3. Prepare and/or maintain memoranda of understanding with the Maine Warden Service, local police departments, and other agencies as necessary.
      4. Handle group correspondence.
      5. Insure that files and documents of group actions and activities are kept current.
      6. Preside as chairperson at Board of Directors meetings.
      7. Keep the Board of Directors informed of the attendance of members at training activities and meetings to determine membership status.



  1. Appointed Positions:


Communications Officer

MASAR Representative


    1. The Treasurer shall:
      1. Maintain accurate records of the financial status of MATSAR
      2. Prepare, or have prepared, the required tax forms, audits, etc. required of the group as a non-profit organization
      3. Collect annual dues from members and provide the appropriate officers with a current list of those members who have paid their dues.
    1. The Communications Officer:
      1. Dispatch members on SAR missions according to standards established by MATSAR, MASAR and Department of Inland Fisheries, Wardens Service
    1. The MASAR Representative:
      1. Represent the interests of MATSAR at MASAR meetings.
      2. Keep the MATSAR membership informed of MASAR activities, proposed policies, and standards.
    2. Vacant Office: If an office becomes vacant the President will appoint an interim officer until a special election can be held.



  1. Standing committees shall be made up of voting members and will meet at the discretion of the chairperson, but at least once a year.


  1. Meetings may take place by Teleconference, Video Conference, or in physical presence.  Minutes must provided to the board within 7 days after the meeting.
  2. There shall be three standing committees:
    Ways and Means

    1. The Membership/Publicity Committee shall be led by the Secretary and:
      1. Work to increase membership when necessary.
      2. Have new members complete membership applications
      3. Provide the Secretary with a written copy of the addresses and phone numbers of each new member.
      4. Provide, or designate someone to provide, guidance for new or probationary members at training activities or incidents.
      5. Write and distribute press releases about MATSAR activities and Publicize regular meetings
    2. The Ways and Means Committee shall be led by the President and:
      1. Be in charge of raising funds for MATSAR operations.
      2. Extend gratitude for donations received.
    3. The Training Committee shall be led by the Vice President and:
      1. Plan regular training schedules
      2. Notify the membership of upcoming training activities, including the location and type of training planned.
      3. Inform the Maine Warden Service Search and Rescue Liaison of all Unit Training exercise dedicated to achieving or maintaining MASAR certification for a unit’s members by:
        1. Sending written notice, at least one week in advance to the Maine Warden Service Search and Rescue Liaison , listing:
          1. The training exercise date;
          2. Training exercise topic(s);
          3. The instructor(s) name (s)
        2. Within two weeks of completion of the exercise, sending a report on the training exercise to the Maine Warden Service Search and Rescue Liaison listing:
          1. The Unit or Units involved
          2. The actual date of the exercise;
          3. The names of those who actually received training as part of the exercise;
          4. A brief description of the training provided.
      4. Other committees may be formed at the direction of the president. These committees shall be made up of voting members, except with the approval of a majority of MATSAR  members at a regular meeting.






  1. Business meetings will be held at the discretion and scheduling of the President.
  2. Cancellations, postponement, and rescheduling of schedule of meetings or events will be the decision of the President and Vice Presidents. Members will be notified in a timely manner by the President.



  1. Any item purchased or donated to MATSAR is considered a MMSAR asset and to be returned to the unit upon a members resignation or termination. Used or partially used consumables do not need to be returned or replaced.
  2. MATSAR name and logo, and their use are considered a unit asset. Any and all reproduction or modifications must be approved by the Board of Directors.
  3. In the event of dissolution of MATSAR the assets and funds will be disposed of in accordance with Article IX.
  4. Any expenditure with the exception of annual business operating expenses, are to be approved by majority vote of the board.  


The unit may be dissolved with written consent of ¾ of members who are in good standing.In the event of the dissolution of the Unit, whether voluntary or by operation of law, none of the property, proceeds, or assets of the Unit shall be distributed to any members of the Unit. After payment of any debts of the Unit, its property and assets shall be donated to MASAR or to another search and rescue unit.



These Bylaws may be amended at any regular meeting by 3⁄4 vote of voting eligible members in attendance, provided the amendment has been submitted in writing at the previous

regular meeting.