Austere Emergency Care

The AEC course is a four-day medical training course based on the Prolonged Field Care concepts created by US Special Forces medics. It is designed for medical professionals working in remote, austere and resource-limited environments who might be treating a critical casualty for extended periods of time.

Who should attend this course: This is an ALS level course. Therefore, it is geared toward paramedics, nurses, military medics and doctors.

AEC Course Content: This course builds on the basic concepts of TECC/TCCC. As Sean Keenan is fond of saying, “There is no PFC without TCCC”. This means practitioners taking this course should have a profound understanding of stabilising the critical casualty in austere environments.



AEC Dates:

  • 27-30 May 2024 in Malta

Cost: €1050



History and Background of Prolonged Field Care

During the Special Operations Medical Association’s symposium in 2013, a group of SOF medics met to discuss the need to redirect the focus of the current operational concentration on a short aeromedical evacuation that was the norm. With the drawdown of troops in the Middle East, the medics were aware of the skills which seemed to fade from the original focus of operating in remote, austere and resource-limited environments. Medical evacuation was no longer a twenty-minute event. Medical professionals had to stabilise and manage their critical casualties for extended periods. Many medics were treating casualties for days at a time. The skills and medical knowledge needed to be enhanced to meet this new necessity.

Dr Sean Keenan was the Theater Special Operations Surgeon for Special Operations Command, Europe (SOCEUR). He started the Prolonged Field Care Working group along with Paul Loos and colleagues from all branches and specialities in Special Operations. Dr Keenan has been a guest lecturer for our College, and both Dennis Jarema (Prolonged Fieldcare podcast) and Paul are currently enrolled on our MSc Austere Critical Care programme.


What is Prolonged Field Care?

According to this published article, PFC is “field medical care, applied beyond ‘doctrinal planning time-lines by a SOCM (Special Operations Combat Medic) or higher, to decrease patient mortality and morbidity. Utilises limited resources and is sustained until the patient arrives at an appropriate level of care.” This definition necessarily assumes that the care is delivered in an austere or field environment. It also acknowledges that the care is provided outside the planning guidance of the usual medical force structure and related assumptions cannot be relied on.

What is Austere Emergency Care?

AEC was a natural advancement from PFC. As more and more SOF medical exit the military, they are bringing their PFC expertise into the civilian world. AEC applies the ten core capabilities from PFC and converts them into the standard operating procedures found in local ambulances and aeromedical platforms. AEC add two additional core capabilities that build on the basic concepts of PFC. Click here to download a PDF discussing the twelve core capabilities. 

There are two parts to this programme:

Part 1: Online training

(10 hours)

There are quite a few online video lectures to review before arriving for classroom training. These lectures will review the Prolonged Field Care content and cover some of the additional lectures offered during this programme.

Part 2: Classroom training

(40 hours)

Once you have completed and passed the online training, you come to Malta for four days of extensive classroom experience. Most of the week is hands-on with some lectures that will review the essential topics learned during the online training.  Once you register for the programme, we will send you a free copy of our digital Field Guide.

AEC Course Content

  • 10 hours of online content
  • TECC/TCCC practical scenarios
  • Four Horsemen of the Apocolypse scenarios (Cat Haem, Burns, Crush, TBI)
  • Austere Clinic Scenarios
  • Austere and Prehospital Ultrasound
  • Disaster Response Mascal
  • Improvised Medicine
  • Austere Critical Care
  • Round Robin mini-scenarios
  • Final day PFC exercise

Live Casualty Simulations

The AEC course includes hands-on experience with live casualty scenarios with special effects makeup.   Covid-19 Statement: We will follow the government authorities’ instructions on their Covid-19 response. We may have to postpone this course due to a new pandemic.

Click here to ask a question about this programme