Martin Heffernan, Asst. Scoutmaster of Troop 801, Honored for Bravery and Heroism

Article written by Suzanne Collier

Brea, Calif., August 29, 2019 — Orange County Council, Boy Scouts of America Troop 801 in Brea, Calif. is proud to announce that Assistant Scout Master Martin “Marty” Heffernan has been presented with an Honor Medal with Crossed Palms from the BSA National Court of Honor.

Mr. Heffernan was awarded the BSA’s highest honor for bravery and heroism based his lifesaving and meritorious actions during the shooting that took place on October 1, 2017 at the Route 91 Concert in Las Vegas. He is the 313th individual to be awarded the Honor Medal with Crossed Palms, by the National Court of Honor, in the award’s 96-year history.

“Since 1924, the Honor Medal with Crossed Palms has been given to individuals who demonstrate unusual heroism and extraordinary skill or resourcefulness in saving or attempting to save a life at extreme risk to themselves,” said Warren Collier, Scouts BSA Troop 801, during a ceremony recognizing Mr. Heffernan on Sunday, August 25, 2019.

“On October 1, 2017, Mr. Heffernan put others before himself and was willing to sacrifice his own life to help strangers in a time of need. There is no telling how many lives he saved that day, or how many lives he will impact through his actions which allow us to now recognize and honor him,” said James Crabb, Committee Chairman, Scouts BSA Troop 801.

Mr. Heffernan, a 14-year veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, was one of the first to jump into action that fateful day as terror rained down from above on thousands of concert-goers. His training allowed him to quickly recognize the threat and know how to guide those around him to safety. “In placing himself in harm’s way to save the lives of others, Mr. Heffernan was living by the Coast Guard’s unofficial motto – ‘You have to go out, but you don’t have to come back,” said Ken Green, Scoutmaster, Scouts BSA Troop 801. “He is a real hero.” The impact that Mr. Heffernan has had on the community goes well beyond the life-saving efforts of October 1, 2017. He has been involved in guiding many youth living throughout Orange County through his service to many programs run by BSA, including Troop 801, Troop 1232, Troop 871, Pack 589, Pack 798, Pack 871, Pack 1232, Pack 1216 and Crew 871; and, Order of the Arrow – Modoc Chapter, Wiatava Lodge. He also has two sons, Eric and Ian, who have advanced to the rank of Eagle.

“I am deeply honored and humbled by this recognition,” said Heffernan. “What started as a happy day of celebration ended in tragedy. I jumped into action as I would have during any other emergency situation, and I am grateful for my training which helped me get others to safety and make it through that night. For more information please contact Suzanne Collier at 714.469.0140 or e-mail

About Scouts BSA Troop 801

Scouts BSA Troop 801 is a place to make lifelong friends while you are making lifelong memories. The troop offers adventures in Kayaking, Deep Sea Fishing, Skiing/Snowboarding, Archery, Shotgun, Riflery, Canoeing, Hiking, Backpacking, Camping, Outdoor Cooking, and much, much more. Troop 801 meets weekly on Monday evenings at 7:00pm at the Brea Lions Scout Center. For more information visit