KINGSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — First responders across 15 communities on the west side of the Wyoming Valley now have access to new technology and it’s all thanks to the generosity of a local business and the help of a state representative.

The Wyoming Valley is called “The Valley With A Heart” for a reason.

This story highlights the good things that happen in our communities every day.

“It means the world to the west side communities,” said Deputy Chief Lee Hampton from the West Wyoming Fire Department.

Fire apparatus lined Wyoming Avenue in Kingston as a crowd gathered outside Compass of NEPA. The business custom-built and donated a drone to West Side Mutual Aid, which provides a collective response to emergencies in more than a dozen communities.

“It’ll have thermal imaging capabilities, which will help us in the middle of the night, it’ll be able to detect body heat if somebody is laying in the woods. It’ll be very useful, and it will benefit every community in Luzerne County if somebody needs it,” explained Deputy Chief Hampton.

State Representative Aaron Kaufer was instrumental in making this happen.

“West side mutual aid reached out to me after the situation happened with that plane going down in Bear Creek, asking if I could pursue a grant for them and I said, I don’t think we need to do a grant, let me talk with somebody,” said State Representative Aaron Kaufer.

That somebody is the CEO of Compass of NEPA, Joe Lubinski.

“I just need to thank everyone. I’m so proud I feel like I can cry. Thank you to the fire department, the police, all the first responders,” added Lubinski.

The business, which relocated its headquarters to Kingston from overseas, develops consumer products of all types, including drones.

“We’re excited about what’s going on here, and really just blessed that we have something like this here in northeastern Pennsylvania,” continued Rep. Kaufer.

Some of the first responders will undergo drone training, and then the drone will be put to use.

You can learn more about Compass of NEPA on their website.