GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Grand Prairie has unveiled gifts this holiday season aimed at keeping their first responders safe.

They’re called truck mounted attenuators, which are basically “crash cushions” and Grand Prairie FD is the first fire department in North Texas to have them.

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The nine-foot long trailers are hooked on the rear of fire engines to protect emergency crews when they are parked on roadways.

Truck mounted attenuator on back of fire engine (J.D. Miles – CBS 11).

The $35,000 devices are designed to absorb the impact from vehicles that too often crash into police and fire personnel.

It happened earlier this month in Irving, when a firefighter was struck and seriously injured by a driver who authorities say was drunk and plowed into an accident scene.

In November in Grand Prairie, a van crashed into a police car at an accident scene nearly hitting an officer.

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Grand Prairie Fire Chief Robert Fite said the energy-absorbing cushions also minimize the risk to the driver who hits it.

“Not only do I want our firefighters to go home to their families, I want the motorist who is either distracted, under the influence or just had a bad accident, I want that motorist to be able to go home as well,” said Chief Fite.

The department purchased two of the truck mounted attenuators.

Expect to see them out on the roads 24/7 when winter weather strikes North Texas.

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