A visiting couple have praised not just Orange's emergency services but the city's hospitality after requiring a two-hour rescue operation from walking trails atop Mount Canobolas on Sunday.
Lisa Dowdell was hiking down the trail from the summit to the Federal Falls campground with a group of friends when her husband Owen slipped.
The 60-year-old landed badly, and Ms Dowdell said he knew straight away he'd done something bad.
With a broken kneecap and ruptured patella tendon, Mr Dowdell wasn't getting off the mountain on his own, 200-odd metres from the roadway, and Ms Dowdell called triple zero.
"They just did a fantastic job," Ms Dowdell said of the operation to strap her husband into the stretcher, take him back up to the summit and into an ambulance where he was taken to Orange hospital.
Visiting Orange for the weekend from Sydney, the group were up the mountain for "some gentle bushwalking", intending to walk the Federal Falls loop after starting from the summit and heading down to the camping ground via Young Man Canobolas.
Ms Dowdell and one of the other members in the group are nurses, with another trained in first aid, meaning Mr Dowdell was in relatively safe hands.
However, paramedics' arrival after 40 minutes was a relief, stabilising him and organising with SES and RFS to carry him up the mountain.
About 15 emergency service workers from Ambulance NSW, the Rural Fire Service and the State Emergency Service all attended to help evacuate Mr Dowdell.
"We're very grateful to all of them," Ms Dowdell said.
Mr Dowdell had surgery on Monday morning after staying in hospital overnight, and Ms Dowdell was put up by Anne O'Connor, the nurse who saw them after coming into the emergency department.
"The whole staff at the hospital were wonderful ... but [Ms O'Connor] offered to put me up," she said.
"The hospitality of the whole of Orange is touching."
It was the couple's first visit to Orange, and while it certainly didn't pan out as the weekend of hiking and wineries they planned, Ms Dowdell said they would "absolutely be back".
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