Moulage: Keeping it Real
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan -- Sirens are silenced as security forces arrive to the scene of an active shooter scenario; victim's screaming fills the air as they lie wounded along the ground. This setting took place as part of the emergency response exercise during a Samurai Readiness Inspection May 15, at Yokota Air Base, Japan.
A combination of moulage, or mock injuries, and role-player acting required emergency responders to apply their training in a surprisingly realistic environment.
"In an emergency situation, your heart is pounding and the adrenaline is pumping," said Lt. Col. Randy Claxton, 374th Medical Operations Squadron commander. "We train as we fight, so realistic simulation is important and moulage helps to create that response."
Creating burns, lost limbs, broken bones and lacerations require more than great makeup.
"Moulage puts the scenario into perspective." said Staff Sgt. Brandon Joyce, 374th Medical Surgical Squadron ultrasound technician and moulage applier. "Just saying that someone has a wound isn't the same as seeing one."
"Credible moulage helps the first responders in assessing and applying appropriate care to a multitude of different injuries, ultimately providing realistic hands-on training," Claxton said.
Staff Sgt. Terell White, 374th Security Forces Squadron Assistant flight chief, said his instincts kicked in at the first sight of moulage and he knew to start applying self-aid and buddy care; he said the practicality of the scenario was evident.
"It's hard to treat someone with SABC if there's nothing physically there for you to actually treat," White said. "When you see the moulage, the fake blood squirting out and someone crying out in pain, it brings it to light that this is a scenario that could really happen and that you should be prepared for."
Though moulage is intended to bring realism to a training scenario, it also brings a unique artistry for those preparing it.
"Moulage isn't just placing scars and pieces of plastic on people and calling it an injury, you have to have an open mind and be creative," said Joyce. "The disturbed reactions on people's faces mean a successful moulage to me, that's what I strive for."
With moulage providing realistic casualties for first responders and medical teams to practice their emergency skill, Yokota Airmen are abled and ready to respond to emergencies.