Residents of Lafayette, take note: the human-like figures soon to be spotted atop utility poles near the intersection of Congress and Bertrand Drive are not in distress—nor are they real people. These life-sized mannequins, dressed in uniform, are part of an essential setup for the upcoming Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo, specifically for the Hurtman Rescue competition, Lafayette Utilities System (LUS) has confirmed.

Starting this Saturday (Mar. 30), these mannequins will be suspended from the poles at Cajun Field as preparations are made for the highly anticipated event on April 6. The Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo is renowned is an event that will showcase the skills and knowledge of public power lineworkers. It offers a unique opportunity for journeyman and apprentice lineworkers from across the nation to compete, connect, and learn within their community. The event emphasizes professional recognition, training, and the practice of essential skills in a safe, controlled environment.

According to LUS, the Hurtman Rescue competition is a critical component of the rodeo. It simulates a high-stakes scenario where a lineworker must rescue a colleague who has been injured on the job. Competitors are required to don all necessary climbing gear, get up the utility pole, secure the mannequin, and safely lower it to the ground. This exercise is crucial for training lineworkers in rescue operations, ensuring they are prepared for any real-life emergencies that may arise while working on the poles.

LUS urges the community to understand that these figures are not real and pose no cause for alarm. Their placement is purely for the purposes of training and competition in the lead-up to the rodeo.

For those interested in learning more about the Public Power Lineworkers Rodeo and the valuable training it provides, further information can be found on the LUS website.

So, as you drive or walk past Cajun Field in the coming days, remember—the figures you see are mannequins; not real people. So spread the word and tell a friend about the Lineworker's Rodeo while you're at it.

LOOK: The most expensive weather and climate disasters in recent decades

Stacker ranked the most expensive climate disasters by the billions since 1980 by the total cost of all damages, adjusted for inflation, based on 2021 data from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The list starts with Hurricane Sally, which caused $7.3 billion in damages in 2020, and ends with a devastating 2005 hurricane that caused $170 billion in damage and killed at least 1,833 people. Keep reading to discover the 50 of the most expensive climate disasters in recent decades in the U.S.

Gallery Credit: KATELYN LEBOFF