St. Marys firefighter dies during his first shift

ST. MARYS, Ga. — A St. Mary’s firefighter EMT mysteriously died on his very first shift early Saturday morning, the fire department reported on social media.

On Saturday morning, April 17, 2021, St. Marys Fire Department Firefighter Efren Medina passed away while on duty. ...

Posted by St. Marys Fire Department on Monday, April 19, 2021

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

While the fire community mourns the loss of 21-year-old Efren Medina, his wife, Brittany Vasquez, mourns the loss of the love of her life.

“He always made me laugh, he always tried to brighten up the mood,” Vasquez told Action News Jax in an exclusive interview.

She said her husband of just over a year had a zest for life.

“He just really loved life and anything that anybody told him he couldn’t do, he proved him wrong,” she said.

Vasquez recalled how excited Medina was to start serving his community as a firefighter EMT.

Chief Lackner says Friday should have been Medina’s start to a fulfilling career.

“He told us we gave him his dream job,” Lackner recalled, explaining that Medina responded to a medical call with his team early Saturday morning.

“Got back about 3:30 in the morning, everybody went and laid back down and at 7:30 they couldn’t get him up,” Lackner said.

According to the fire department, Medina was trained and in shape.

“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 said in disbelief.

Vasquez now has to say goodbye to her husband.

“He loved being around people and doing things with people,” she said.

If you’d like to help Medina’s family, you can donate to his GoFundMe account here: https://www.gofundme.com/f/paying-tribute-to-efren-medina?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=p_cp+share-sheet&fbclid=IwAR0aFCF_ckh0jwUdLcNTaxYFHkI_0s6Pzvhc-uajv8WD6SzrBLsrUnW7dlI

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