The Mayor of Winnipeg is urging the province to consider handing over care at the Maples Personal Care Home to the Canadian military after a weekend he described as ‘sickening’ left eight people dead.

Winnipeg Fire Paramedic Chief John Lane said the deadly weekend started when the service received a 911 call from the care home at 7:10 p.m. Friday evening. Responding paramedics took one patient to hospital in stable condition.

“At 7:12, so two minutes later, several 911 calls were received simultaneously for moderately ill patients at the Maples,” Lane said.

Over the following 24 hours, the WFPS responded to 18 calls. During that time, Lane said multiple residents were taken to hospital and others received treatment including IV fluids and oxygen therapy in the home. WFPS removed eight bodies of residents who had died.

Lane said throughout Sunday night, WFPS assessed nine more residents, with five being treated within the care home and three taken to hospital.

The WFPS chief said the city plans to work with the WRHA to hand over patient care to either the Canadian Red Cross or ‘other appropriate agencies’ by the end of the week.

BOWMAN URGES PROVINCE TO CONSIDER MILITARY SUPPORT AT CARE HOME

“The events of the last few days at Maples Personal Care Home as we’ve come to learn can really only be described as sickening,” said Mayor Brian Bowman, adding the Red Cross support is a step in the right direction, but he would like to see more action.

“The province should be considering all options, including leveraging the expertise and professionalism of the Canadian Armed Forces.”

On Sunday, Cameron Friesen, Manitoba’s Minister of Health, Seniors, and Active Living announced an independent expert will investigate the outbreak at Maples, as well as Parkview Place Personal Care Home in Winnipeg.

Bowman called the response to the Maples Care Home reactive. He said what is going on is not acceptable, and the province needs help.

“They should be considering all options including the military to provide the assistance that they clearly need – I would urge them to consider all options to make sure they can get the resources in place to do what clearly needs to be done right now.”

“We have heard the Premier talk about needing all hands on deck; I would agree with that – we do need all hands on deck. We need every level of government doing their jobs. We need everybody doing their part.”

WFPS CARE IS ‘NOT SUSTAINABLE’ AT MAPLES

Lane said an ambulance is stationed at the care home to serve as a rapid response team, but it may need to be removed to attend high priority calls.

Bowman said the WFPS is continuing to provide support to residents at the care home.

“This isn’t sustainable with the stretched resources that the chief has been alerting the provincial government to for some time,” he said, adding the city has been calling on the province for greater planning and certainty around ambulance services.

“If ever there were a time during COVID and certainly beyond to have certainty for a service that is critical – now is the time.”

Lane said the platoon chief of paramedic operations experienced a similar COVID-19 event at the Parkview Place personal care home, as was seen this weekend at the Maples.

Both Parkview Place and the Maples are owned by Revera, a private care home company with locations across Canada.

The company is currently facing class-action lawsuits in response to cases of COVID-19 at Revera-owned care homes in Ottawa and Kitchener. The lawsuits allege Revera did not have proper sanitation protocols or testing for residents. The allegations have not been proven in court.

Revera said 22 people at The Maples have died since the outbreak at the home started.

-with files from CTV’s Josh Pringle and Chase Banger