Firefighters know there are risks as they work to save people’s homes and lives. However, firefighters do not expect to lose one of their own to unknown causes.
Just A Regular Shift
A young Georgia firefighter died in his sleep near the end of his first 24-hour shift. The firefighter, Efren Medina, had just returned from a medical call earlier that evening.
When they returned to the fire station around 3:30 am, Medina went to sleep. According to the New York Post, when colleagues attempted to wake him up later in the morning, he was unresponsive.
According to St. Mary’s Fire Department in southeast Georgia, Medina had passed all of his physical and agility tests.
“Firefighter Medina as a newly hired firefighter and working his first shift. He was known for his longtime passion for firefighting and his love of the fire service.”Department Officials
The department is currently investigating the cause of Medina’s death. However, there were no tell-tale signs leading up to him passing away in his sleep.
Department chief Tom Lackner said, “You never think that somebody 20 years old isn’t going to wake up from their sleep.”
Lackner reiterated that all of Medina’s tests “came back clear.” The department and Medina’s wife now wait until the medical examiner releases their report.
Friends have started a GoFundMe account to help Medina’s wife, Brittany Vasquez, pay for funeral costs and give some support during this painful time.
On the page, it says, “Efren was a wonderful brother, son, husband, and friend to all. He was very caring, cheerful, and hardworking. Efren was dedicated to working towards becoming a fireman and selflessly helping others also being an EMT.”
Currently the GoFundMe has raised $10,885 from almost 200 donors.
So many people have banded together to help this firefighters widow during this tragic time. From the community to family and friends, Medina’s widow has felt so much love and support from all around, a small bit of comfort after losing her firefighter far too soon.