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LEXINGTON, Ky. (FOX 56) – Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear was in Lexington for part of the day Thursday to honor the Lexington Fire Department (LFD) for their work in the eastern Kentucky flood rescues.

Along with Lexington Mayor Linda Gorton, the two expressed their thanks to firefighters who went above and beyond to save lives during the floods. The governor also honored the entire department by making each member a Kentucky colonel.

“Honoring them, they’re tired, they just got back,” Beshear said. “I can’t believe they’re not still muddy. It’s the least that we can do. You are going to see us doing this. We’ve had so many events to respond to it feels like in the last few years from the pandemic, to the tornados, to this and these folks have been there every time.”

The governor noted that the LFD Swift Water Crews have been involved in over 700 water rescues and more than 1,300 air rescues across Eastern Kentucky since last Thursday.

Firefighters in attendance say it was an honor for the governor to recognize the department but will also say they are no better than any other group of first responders in Kentucky.

“We didn’t work any harder than any other agency down there,” said LFD Major Adam Sorell. “They were all committed to help people. We are just proud to be part of it and proud to have a city that allows us to get there quickly.”

Gorton expressed how proud she was in the people who dedicate their lives to serve their community.

“You’re always people first,” Gorton said. “I know this about you chief and I know it about your firefighters. People first and I cannot thank you enough.”

As FOX 56 has covered throughout the course of the last week, the ‘Kentucky Strong’ attitude has been on full display, not only by the LFD but the state as a whole.

This notion has been something that has not surprised Beshear in the slightest.

“We are special people,” said Beshear. “We open our hearts and our homes to one another. We risk our lives for each other. Today we are honoring skilled first responders but we also know that as many Kentuckians are rescued by their neighbors. Kayaks, jet skis, anything that floats. People sometimes just wadding through grabbing people and carrying them out. That’s who we are.”

Beshear plans to go to other departments across the Commonwealth to honor those who helped the rescue efforts in eastern Kentucky in the coming days and weeks.