RIYADH: The Saudi Red Crescent Authority and The Helicopter Co. have signed an agreement to launch an air ambulance service in the Kingdom.
The signing, which aims to raise the quality and efficiency of ambulance services to save lives, was attended by Health Minister Fahd Al-Jalajel, who is also chairman of the board of directors of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority.
The agreement was signed by President of the Saudi Red Crescent Authority Jalal Al-Owaisi and CEO of The Helicopter Co. Capt. Arnaud Martinez.
The agreement stems from the authority’s belief in the importance of an air ambulance, which can respond quickly to save lives in emergencies and exceptional circumstances — such as locations that are difficult to reach otherwise — in which speed of communication is crucial to providing medical care.
The agreement stipulates the provision of air ambulance helicopters around the clock to transport highway accident casualties and transfer critical cases between hospitals.
The service will be implemented in Riyadh first then gradually cover the rest of the Kingdom’s regions in several phases.
Air ambulance helicopters will also be provided to respond to critical cases at holy sites and will be among the services provided by the authority to pilgrims and visitors during the Hajj season.
Raed Ismail, chairman of the board of directors at The Helicopter Co., said that this agreement is the result of relentless efforts and cooperation with the Saudi Red Crescent Authority and represents an important step in keeping pace with modern health systems that contribute to saving lives.
The Helicopter Co. was established in 2019 by the Public Investment Fund as the first local operator of commercial helicopters. Today, the company owns 17 helicopters that provide air ambulance services and are also available for tourism and business trips. It recently signed an agreement to purchase 42 new helicopters.
The air ambulance service falls within the objectives of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030, as it will contribute to facilitating access to emergency medical care and reduce the percentage of deaths and injuries resulting from traffic accidents.