A “young and eager” fire fighter has died during his first shift on the job.
Efren Medina, 20, died while on duty with St Marys Fire Department in the US state of Georgia on Saturday morning.
Mr Medina had been working a 24-hour shift and died in his sleep, according to the US Fire Administration.
While he was not responding to a specific emergency at his time of death, the administration said Mr Medina was on “in-station duties” when he died.
Chief Tom Lackner told First Coast News Mr Medina was “young and eager”.
"A 20-year-old shouldn't be going," he said.
"You never think that somebody 20 years old isn't going to wake up from their sleep."
Mr Lackner told ActionNewsJax.com he had passed all of his physical exams before becoming a firefighter, which was his “dream job”.
“Everything came back clear,” Mr Lackner told the news site.
The fire department wrote on Facebook that Mr Medina “was known for his long time passion for firefighting and his love of the fire service”.
He was looking to become a full-time firefighter.
A GoFundMe page, created by his friend Pulido Ryan, paid tribute to Mr Medina as “a wonderful brother, son, husband, and friend to all”.
“He was very caring, cheerful, and hardworking,” Mr Ryan wrote.
“Efren was dedicated to working towards becoming a fireman and selflessly helping others also being an EMT.”
Mr Medina is survived by his wife Brittany Vasquez.
“He always made me laugh, he always tried to brighten up the mood,” she told ActionNewsJax.com.
His cause of death remains under investigation.
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