Volunteer chaplain Diane Peterson was recognized recently for her hard work with the highest honor a volunteer can earn — the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award.


Peterson has volunteered more than 4,000 hours of her time to help first responders who come face-to-face with the unspeakable. That can include the loss of one of their own, like the recent death of Fairbanks police Sgt. Allen Brandt.


“What the first responders see is things that others don’t see on a daily basis,” Peterson explained. “And they see it every day and they continue to put their lives on the line and it’s hard to process that, and nobody is immune to absorbing some of that. If a chaplain can be there as a resource to let them process that, or just stand there and be a presence for them, then our mission is serving those who serve and the chaplain’s role is to be there for our first responders.”


She joined Emily Carlson in the KTVA studio to discuss what the award and her work mean to her.