Kraus and Bazarewski have both been chiefs of the North Bellmore department in the past decade. Kraus served most recently, from 2008 until last April.
Kraus, who joined the department in 2000, is also vice chairman of the Sixth Battalion Fire Chiefs Association and second deputy chief instructor at the Nassau County Fire Academy. He said that his fire service would make him a good addition to the board of commissioners.
The future of North Bellmore is his major focus, he said. “There’s a lot going forward that needs to be addressed now because of cost factors, and I’d rather be proactive than reactive,” he said. “I want to implement things now for the next 10, 20, 30 years, because I plan on being in the community for that long.”
As commissioner, Kraus said, he would like to update equipment and improve the firehouses while keeping tax rates low. He said he would also focus on improving the department’s recruitment and retention rates, while keeping new and current department members adequately trained.
Bazarewski said he also believes it’s important for the department to have skilled firefighters and adequate equipment. Having served as its chief from 2002 to 2003 and in other roles in and out of the district, he said he is qualified to serve as commissioner.
Bazarewski has 29 years of experience in volunteer fire service and is a former emergency medical technician. Most recently he served as the North Bellmore District’s treasurer, which, he said, allowed him to work closely with the board of commissioners.
A board of fire commissioners governs every district in New York state. Commissioners are responsible for the overall management of the districts as well as their budgets.