A Georgia community was grieving the death of a 20-year-old man who was discovered unresponsive while working his first shift as a firefighter on Saturday, reported by the New York Post.
Efren Medina has recently joined the service to fulfill a long-held dream of being a firefighter, according to the St. Marys Fire Department.
The U.S. Fire Administration revealed that Medina was working a 24-hour shift when he died. Officials said an inquiry into the incident is still underway.
Upon returning to the fire department at 3:30 a.m., colleagues discovered him unresponsive.
Medina has recently passed physical and endurance tests before entering the agency, Chief Tom Lackner told WLTV. They were waiting for the medical examiner’s report to find out what caused Medina’s death.
“A 20-year-old shouldn’t be going,” Lackner told the news station of Medina’s death. “You never think that somebody 20 years old isn’t going to wake up from their sleep.”
Medina’s friend launched a GoFundMe campaign to assist the family with funeral expenses. The page—which has raised $8,145 so far—says Medina leaves behind a wife, Brittany Vasquez.
“Efren was a wonderful brother, son, husband and friend to all,” an organizer wrote. “He was very caring, cheerful and hardworking … 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.”
On Sunday, the St. Marys Fire Department announced the young firefighter’s death.