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St. Marys firefighter who died in sleep during his first shift laid to rest

The visitation and memorial for Efren Medina took place Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m. at Allison Memorial Chapel in St. Marys.

ST. MARYS, Ga. — The St. Marys Fire Department firefighter who died in his sleep over the weekend during his first shift on the job was laid to rest Thursday.

A visitation and memorial for Efren Medina took place Thursday from 3 to 5 p.m. at Allison Memorial Chapel in St. Marys.

Medina, 20, was found unresponsive Saturday morning, St. Marys Fire Department Chief Tom Lackner told First Coast News. His cause of death is pending a medical examiner review.

Lackner said Medina had responded to an overnight call with the rest of the crew that was on duty and returned with them to the firehouse at 3:30 a.m. When the other firefighters woke up later that morning, they noticed Medina was not responding.

Medina had recently passed his physical agility test before he started working at the fire department. Lackner described him as "young and eager."

"Please plan to join family, friends and coworkers on Thursday, April 22, 2021, from 3-5pm at Allison Memorial Chapel in St. Marys for a visitation/celebration of life honoring Firefighter Efren Medina," the fire department wrote on Facebook. "Journey well, our brother."

"He was known for his long time passion for firefighting and his love of the fire service," an earlier fire department Facebook post says.

A GoFundMe page launched to raise money for funeral expenses says Medina leaves behind a wife, Brittany Vasquez.

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