Windsor soldiers receive training, ready to aid long-term care homes if deployed

Thirty Windsor-area soldiers, deployed to Canadian Forces Base Borden two weeks ago to prepare for the military response to COVID-19, could be among those coming to the aid of long-term care homes.

Ottawa is sending in the military to help provinces deal with COVID-19 outbreaks as a temporary fix, as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said the measure is an indication governments are failing seniors.

Meanwhile, Premier Doug Ford has asked for Canadian Forces personnel to assist at long-term care homes in Ontario. 

Corporal Dan Metcalfe of the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment and the captain of the University of Windsor Lancers football team is now preparing to respond to the challenges of the pandemic.

“It takes a lot of discipline and a lot of mental power to play the game of football, and I think the army is the same way,” said Melcalfe. 

“It takes a lot of courage to step up and do things that other people won’t. That’s amazing that football has got me ready for that, and I think the army has just made me better at it for football.”

Metcalfe is also waiting to find out if he will be drafted by a CFL team next week.

WATCH| Windsor reservists training and ready to be deployed from CFB Borden:

Some Windsor soldiers could be among those coming to the aid of long-term care homes. 1:38

Reservists with the Essex and Kent Scottish Regiment were deployed to Canadian Forces Base Borden as part of the Canadian Armed Forces’ Operation LASER response to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Master Warrant Officer Fergus O’Connor said they would be taking part in a 400-person territorial task group “in order to respond to any request for assistance that may come from provincial governments or municipal governments.”

Now those requests have come. The plan is for the military to provide operational and logistical support so staff can focus on the health of residents.

Corporal Mohammed Elourfali, also a reservist with the Windsor regiment, is wrapping up his second week of training for the pandemic response.    

“The reason I did sign up was to just do my part in Canada,” said Elourfali.  

“Both my parents immigrated here, so I kind of wanted to give back, and now that this is happening and we were offered the opportunity to assist Canadians, it was kind of a no-brainer for me really.”

Elourfali has delayed an internship in the auto industry to deploy.

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