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Makeup department and BYU Emergency Medical Services partner to prepare for disaster

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Jocelyn Rosales applying makeup to Maya Palomino

Jennine Hollingshaus had the makeup studio running like a well-oiled machine this past Saturday at 9am.
From 9 am to 1 pm, 175 volunteers entered as regular students and exited looking very much worse for the wear–featuring moulage ranging from tear stains and red eyes to compound fractures and third degree burns. That afternoon, those volunteers then headed to the HFAC for BYU’s mock mass casualty simulation.

A collaboration between BYU EMS, the college of nursing, the campus police department, and the TMA makeup department, the event gives an opportunity for BYU students to prepare for any potential disaster on campus. Says Jennine Hollingshaus, “I think it really brings the students together, and I really love that it's interdisciplinary. My makeup students get to see the nursing students who get to see the EMT students. It shows them that if something went wrong on campus, it’s going to be okay and there are people that can help.”

Scenarios differ every semester, with past events ranging from earthquakes at the MTC and the Maeser building to chem lab explosions in the Benson. This year EMS students chose to prepare for the scenario of a building collapse and fire taking place in the HFAC.

Students from all over campus volunteered to act as victims in the scenario. While many come from the TMA department, as the event grows each year more and more academically diverse students enlist. Elementary education major Sarah Litchford’s roommates were involved and invited her to join, and she found it was the perfect opportunity to not only increase her emergency preparedness but also become more involved in the BYU experience.

The simulation is also a great learning experience for makeup students. Those who volunteered for the event had practice in the classroom learning basic special effects, but artist Katie Millett’s favorite part is seeing it all come together: “You can research and practice and you do your best, but you never quite know what’s going to happen. It just turns out so unique every time.” Makeup artist Justine Hollingshaus says, “It’s just so fun because anything goes. You can throw on some bruising, some blood, some weird prosthetics, and odds are it looks good. It’s a great time, and everyone's really helpful so it’s okay when you don’t know what you’re doing.” Jennine comments that the level of training for each of the makeup artists is different, but “the more that the students participate, the better they get. What we’ve found is that the moulage helps the EMT students and the nurses take it a little more seriously. It's a really good opportunity for them to realize it can be real and what to do in that situation.”

Collaborations across campus are one of the hallmarks of the cooperative culture of BYU. The mock mass casualty simulation was no exception, giving students the opportunity to put their skills to use while supporting each other’s efforts to succeed. Says Jennine Hollingshaus, “The number one thing that I always learn and am impressed by is that students rise to the occasion. We just have really good people on campus– good students and a good community. The students are amazing and talented, and we want to help each other be successful.”