Three hours before the biggest earthquake Utah’s never had, a small group of volunteers is gathering behind a boarded-up elementary school. Armed with plastic tubs filled with containers of makeup, paint, and other unappetizing goop, they prepare to transform a couple hundred students into “victims” of a natural disaster.
It’s just another day in the life of a moulage artist.
If the medical field’s Hippocratic Oath is to “first, do no harm,” then the moulage artist’s motto is pretty much its polar opposite: Take someone who looks the picture of health and give them wounds that would make an emergency room doctor sit up and take notice. Deep lacerations. Compound fractures. Severe impalements. Massive third-degree burns.
Moulage is the art of creating fake wounds for the purpose of emergency training. And that emergency training didn’t come any bigger than Thursday’s Great Utah ShakeOut, the annual statewide mock disaster designed to test the readiness