12th (almost a) Man salutes drivers along I-5 in Bellingham



"Rescue Randy" a rescue dummy, waves to Bellingham with a 12th man flag Friday, Jan. 31, 2014. Employees at Potelco, Inc, who are contracted with Puget Sound Energy, had the idea to raise a 12th man flag with their 100-foot cherry picker.


BELLINGHAM - Even rescue dummies are Seahawks fans in this town.

Every day since shortly before Seattle beat the San Francisco 49ers to advance to the Super Bowl, Rescue Randy has been standing tirelessly in a 100-foot bucket truck looking over Interstate 5 in honor of his favorite team. Behind him, a 12th Man flag flaps in the wind.

Employees of Potelco, Inc., a contractor with Puget Sound Energy that works out of the PSE building on Nevada Street, put Randy the Seahawks fan in place. Normally, Randy is used in training exercises in case a worker gets stuck in the bucket.

Potelco general foreman Trent Van Beek had the idea to raise a 12th Man flag after seeing them all around town. He noticed Hertz Equipment Rental on State Street put up a flag on a lift in their work yard and remembered Potelco had a much bigger cherry picker lying around.

"We haven't had any jobs that require (the cherry picker), so I figured why not?" Van Beek said.

He took his idea to general foreman Richard Veller. Veller and several other employees pooled their money to purchase the 12th Man flag.

Cars on the freeway have been honking in support of the flag while driving by.

"It puts a smile on my face every time," Veller said. "This office is full of Seahawks fans."

Not the least of which is Rescue Randy. Randy was put up to draw more attention to the flag, Van Beek said, almost as if he's waving to cars.

Randy and the flag will be up over I-5 until after the Super Bowl, unless an emergency occurs where Potelco needs the bucket truck.

Reach James Kozanitis at 360-715-2249 or james.kozanitis@bellinghamherald.com.

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