Georgia firefighter dies while working first shift

Efren Medina (St. Mary's Fire Department)

Firefighters across the state are mourning the loss of a southeast Georgia firefighter killed while on duty this past weekend.

Efren Medina with the St. Mary’s Fire Department died on Saturday morning on his very first shift, according to a post on the department’s Facebook page. Medina, 20, had just returned with his crew to the firehouse after responding to a call and had gone back to sleep. His fellow firefighters woke up later that morning and found him unresponsive.

"He was known for his long-time passion for firefighting and his love of the fire service," the department posted to Facebook. "We greatly appreciate the outpouring of sympathy, support, and condolences during this very difficult time."

His colleagues, friends, and family are have set up a GoFundMe account to help his widow pay for expenses. A post on the page reads in part:

"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."

Visitation and celebration of life ceremony will be held on Thursday at the Allison Memorial Chapel in St. Mary’s from 3-5 p.m.

The exact cause of his death has not been released and is still under investigation.

This story is being reported out of Atlanta.

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