About 20 years ago, Doug Fulton saw local weatherman Dave Munsey give a talk about the effects of child drowning. It changed his life.
“His friend’s child had stumbled into the lake’s edge and drowned, and it just impacted him so greatly,” says the CEO of Fulton Homes, based in Tempe, Ariz. “He told the story, and there wasn’t a dry eye around the table.”
After hearing Munsey, the home builder started a public service announcement campaign called “Two Seconds is Too Long,” inspired by Munsey’s message.
A few years later, Fulton began to provide free fencing to 15 families each year, through its Fence Patrol program. A local radio station solicits entries and stories about homeowners in need, and a panel selects the recipients. Many of them are soon-to-be adoptive or foster parents who must install fencing before they can house the child. Over the course of 15 weeks, partner installer A Safe Pool will put in one fence a week.
“I’m a native Arizonan. I’m third generation, my kids are fourth. We just grew up here. So it gets old being designated as one of the top drowning spots in the nation year after year,” Fulton says.
Munsey, the weatherman, repeated a water-safety message at the end of every on-air report, regardless of the station he worked at, until he retired two years ago. Fulton has shown the same dedication in his efforts. The company estimates it has invested approximately $2.5 million to water safety over the last 20 years.
Doug Fulton has no plans to stop. “In good times, bad times, when the market is up or down, we’ve always stuck with it,” Fulton says. “If we have to shed every other marketing campaign that we have, we will always hang onto the water safety spot. This is something that we’re passionate about.”