(MENAFN - Arab News) Saudi Red Crescent Authority yesterday signed an agreement with the American PHI company to purchase eight helicopters that will join the authority's fleet within three years.
Dr. Rasheed Al-Eid, executive director of the authority, signed the deal with a Lance Bospflug, president and chief executive officer of the American company.
During the ceremony, a presentation on the authority's air ambulance service was made and its plan to expand the service Kingdomwide.
Al-Eid said the agreement to purchase new helicopters came at a time when the authority has launched the fifth phase of its emergency aviation services.
He said the first phase of the new agreement would see establishment of helipads in Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh, Jeddah, Qassim and Hail.
"The agreement also covers operation and management of eight helicopters," he said.
He said the authority's emergency medical service had helped in saving the lives of more than 500 people last year.
The American company will provide necessary training to Saudi pilots and other staff members including engineers and administrators.
"Saudis will be given training in the US to enable them to operate and maintain the helicopters within a few years," he pointed out.