GA Firefighter/EMT Dies During His First Shift

The photo shows the Star of Life.
File Photo

Rich Barak

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution


A Georgia fire department in Camden County is mourning the loss of a firefighter who died Saturday while on duty during his first shift.

Efren Medina, a 21-year-old EMT, died after responding to a medical call with the team early Saturday, St. Marys Fire Chief Tom Lackner told Action News Jax.

“He was known for his long time passion for firefighting and his love of the fire service. … We greatly appreciate the outpouring of sympathy, support and condolences during this very difficult time,” the department said in a Facebook post.

Lackner told Action News Jax the department hasn’t lost a firefighter on the job in at least three decades.

“He always made me laugh; he always tried to brighten up the mood,” Brittany Vasquez told Action News Jax. “He loved being around people and doing things with people.”

Medina and the team returned at 3:30 a.m. Saturday, and he went to sleep. Lackner said they tried to wake up Medina at 7:30, but he did not answer.

“Just don’t know why a 20-year-old wouldn’t wake up … he passed his physical … everything came back clear; don’t know,” Lackner told Action News Jax.

A celebration of life is scheduled from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday at Allison Memorial Chapel in St. Marys.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for the Medina family. More than $6,500 had been raised as of 5:45 p.m. Wednesday.


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