My department, a small fire district in upstate New York, barely has the resources and manpower to operate on a day to day basis, much less take the time to develop an application for grant funding. What may seem to be "free money" requires considerable writing expertise, knowledge about the grants application process, soliciting bids and projects costs, and timely filing of required information. And it doesn't end there. The same volunteer labor pool that files the requisite applications must then administer the grant and assemble the necessary documentation for payment of awarded dollars.
Clearly these resources are available in larger departments and those with grant writing expertise. Some of the places where grant monies would be most beneficial are so mired in trying to keep their organizations afloat that they will be the last to apply.