Located in the heart of Madison, Excellance Inc. is one of the world’s foremost manufacturers of emergency vehicles.
Excellance employs 94 managers, craftsmen and technicians. This workforce places Excellance as the third major industrial employer in Madison, behind Tyonek and Intergraph Corporation.
“At Excellance, we build excellence from the ground up. Excellance has manufactured the finest, top-of-the-line modular ambulances since 1975,” President/CEO Charlie Epps said.
In 1975, George F. Epps, Dot Humphrey and Zeb Overstreet founded Excellance Inc. Their mission was to design, develop and manufacture a high quality, all-aluminum modular ambulance in accordance with Federal Specifications KKK-A-1822.
“All vehicles are custom-built to our customer’s specifications,” Epps said. “Working closely with the customer to provide exactly what will meet their needs has been fundamental to the company’s success.”
Excellance has taken the EMS industry to new heights, changing the way the world uses ambulances and emergency vehicles while creating safer units for first responders.
“Excellance’s customer base includes those for whom money is no object, such as Camp David and the royal family of Saudi Arabia. In addition, Excellance has customers who can afford no more than one vehicle but want the best value for their limited budget, such as volunteer organizations,” Epps said.
In addition, Excellance has built a wide array of emergency vehicles, including Bomb Squad Units, compressed natural gas units and Mobile Stroke Units.
“Excellance employs a diverse team, since we build units from the ground up. We have the same positions you would find in most companies – production, accounting, sales, quality assurance, human resources and public relations,” Public Relations Manager Amanda Dyar said. “We also have a wide array of dedicated and talented individuals who help create the finished product from scratch, which involves welding, assembling, painting, electrical and detailing.”
A historic “Beep” or “Beefed-up Jeep” is on display in front of Excellance at 453 Lanier Road. Excellance employees restored the Beep during a three-year period with more than 700 man-hours of labor. Dodge built 22,857 Beeps (WC54) in 1942 as part of the overall contract for the U.S. Army Medical Corps.
“This Beep unit saw action in the European theatre and post-war, serving in France with the original engine later replaced by a French engine with more horsepower,” Epps said. “The unit made its way back to the United States and greeted guests at a restaurant owned by Mr. Pat Epps at Dekalb-Peachtree Airport in Atlanta.
“While at Excellance, the vehicle was made drivable and received a complete overhaul and comprehensive tune-up. The engine was unseized, carburetor cleaned and new fuel pump, water pump, muffler, brake master cylinder, wheel cylinders and rubber brake lines were added. The ambulance has been restored to its former glory and will remain on display in front of Excellance for anyone to see.”
Charlie Epps purchased the unit from Pat Epps and authorized the Beep’s restoration, including manpower and materials. Retired U.S. Army Reserve Sgt. Gerry McCowan, Excellance’s quality assurance manager, managed much of the restoration.
Ben Epps, son of Charlie and Rhonda Epps, works as operations manager at Excellance.
For more information, call 256-772-9321 or visit excellance.com.