Recently there has been an increase in the number of solicitations from private grant writers and grant writing companies looking to establish grant writing services for fire departments. These solicitations are often in the form of an email, cold call, or attendance at a conference or other event. While there is nothing preventing a grant company from contacting you or members of your department (and perhaps there may be something to gain), there are many considerations when hiring any outside vendor that will provide services for your department.
The first question should be whether your department needs to hire a grant writer. Researching and writing grants is time consuming and requires some level of research and writing skills. Experience with grants and grant writing can make the odds better for landing a grant, but that shouldn’t scare you off, as much of the research needed is already familiar to department members, and comes in the form of department annual reports, strategic plans, NFIRS data, CAD data, etc.