BILOXI, MS (WLOX) - A busy day of emergency training ended Thursday afternoon on Keesler Air Force Base.
Organizers went to great lengths to make the training as real as possible. For first responders, the mock scenario played out in real time.
"I heard a small explosion, I saw a little puff of a chemical," said wing inspection planner Bill Mays, who was standing in a small fenced in area on base with mock victims scattered throughout the area.
The call was made, people were down, and the scene quickly became a race against the clock. Firefighters, hazardous materials teams, police and other personnel urgently pushed through procedures as "victims" were discovered.
Before the exercise could get off the ground, there was a lot of prep work to be done; all in the name of authenticity.
"Bruises, scrapes, explosions, gunshot blasts," said Heather Winterstein of the injuries replicated with airbrushed makeup and prosthetics.
Winterstein and others volunteered makeup skills to replicated injuries that responders may encounter in a real world event. The technique, known as moulage, added a sense of realism to the training.
Each victim was assigned a card that explained their injuries.
"They tell us the location of a wound. It tells us right, left, what quadrant, what exactly is injured sometimes," said Winterstein.
The training was a simulated CBRNE: Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, or Explosive. Because of that, there was a wide variety of injuries for the all-volunteer moulage team to create.
"He was 20 feet from the blast, so we've got burns, scrapes, contusions, lacerations on the face," said makeup artist, Regina Parker, as she added to the fake injuries on a victim.
The extra effects, plus a little convincing from the volunteers, made the training an invaluable practice.