21-Year-Old 'Eager' Georgia Firefighter Dies in His Sleep During 1st Shift

Efren Medina, 21, tragically passes in his sleep after his first firefighter shift.

Efren Medina had achieved his lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter. He leaves behind his wife, Brittany Vasquez, a report said.

A 21-year-old from Georgia who was following his lifelong dream of becoming a firefighter tragically died in his sleep after working his first shift, leaving friends and family members devastated over his unexpected passing.

Efren Medina, who was described as a “wonderful brother, son, husband, and friend to all,” was working towards becoming a fireman and “selflessly helping others also being an EMT,” his GoFundMe page read

On Monday, the St Mary’s Fire Department (SMFD) sent out out a Facebook post about Medina’s passing that happened on Saturday morning. The post read that Medina “was known for his long time passion for firefighting and his love of the fire service.”

Fire Chief Tom Lackner told WLTV that Medina had recently passed physical and agility tests before joining the department and that he was “young and eager.” 

Lackner said that Medina died in his sleep after responding to a call overnight. At 3:30 a.m. when the crew returned to the firehouse and when the other firefighters woke up later that morning, they noticed Medina was not responding. 

"A 20-year-old shouldn't be going," Lackner said, who was heartbroken for Medina’s young widow, Brittany Vasquez, and his family. "You never think that somebody 20 years old isn't going to wake up from their sleep."

The chief said they are still awaiting the medical examiner's report to determine Medina's cause of death, People reported. 

“We are absolutely devastated by Efren’s passing and are struggling to find the funds to support his wife, Brittany Vasquez, in paying the cost of the service, flights, and any other unexpected costs, the GoFundMe page said.

As of today, the fundraiser has raised $10,390 and has exceeded their original goal of $4,000.

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