Medina, who was “eager” to begin his new career, died in his sleep after responding to an overnight call, according to Chief Tom Lackner of the St. Marys Fire Department.
After returning to the fire department at 3:30 a.m. and waking up later that morning, colleagues discovered him unresponsive, according to the president. Lackner told the station, “A 20-year-old shouldn’t be going,”
“You never think that somebody 20 years old isn’t going to wake up from their sleep.”
Prior to his hiring, Medina reportedly passed physical and agility examinations. According to First Coast News, a medical examiner would assess his cause of death, which was still pending as of Tuesday.
According to the US Fire Administration, Medina was working a 24-hour shift when he died. Officials said the inquiry into the incident is still underway.
According to an online fundraiser set up in his honor, Medina is survived by his wife.
An organizer wrote, “Efren was a wonderful brother, son, husband and friend to all,”
“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.”