One of our new players queried the length of time it took to get off site last event. Obviously it was not great - there were problems - but I suspect a few people are probably unaware of the full details, so I felt it was worth repeating here some of what I’ve just said in response.
I was gutted by the experience everyone had getting off the site. I want to stress for the benefit of new players that that isn’t normal - usually even when the weather is bad we are able to get everyone off the site in good order. It has been getting busier recently with rising numbers, but we expected the new roads to cope with the increased demand. Unfortunately that didn’t happen this time due to a perfect storm of factors - the exceptionally poor weather which then forced last minute changes to the site layout, the break-down of the county wood-chipper that meant essential wood-chip supplies for roads were delayed or never arrived, all coupled with the impossible numbers which vastly exceeded anything we had any way to predict.
Even with all those factors we would have hoped to get everyone off site in reasonable time - but unfortunately we had a very serious medical emergency where a participant became completely non-responsive. It was nothing to do with the game - and the patient is now fine as I understand it thankfully. Such cases are incredibly rare - we’ve only ever had one other to deal with in the 20 years I’ve been running LRP games - but the instruction from my medical team was that this was exceptionally serious situation.
Given those facts I personally made the call to lock the site down and force 1800 people to wait an extra 60 minutes to get off site - because doing so meant we could shave 5 minutes off the time it would take to get an ambulance on and off site with their patient. We had to lock down the site to ensure that the ambulance had a clear run through - and then once they had their patient - they had a clear run straight back out again. Too much traffic on the roads would have made the route impassible for them and I just was not prepared to risk any delays in a situation where that might put an individual at risk.
None-the-less we clearly failed to manage the site take-down as well as we should have done. We do normally do much better than that - and we would normally expect to do much better than that even if was wet and an emergency ambulance was incoming during the take-down. The delays were unacceptable, so we’re making plans and investing into additional roads and access points to ensure a much better solution next time.
So there is a plan that we are working on to ensure significant improvements going forwards; but we didn’t get this element of the event right last weekend and I can only apologize to everyone for that.