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Heritage

Odyssey, the Definitive Upfitter of Emergency Vehicles, Celebrates 37 Years

In late 1979, "Conversions By Odyssey, Inc." opened in Whippany, NJ as small 2,000 square foot highway location as a custom auto shop that specialized in building vans, installing sunroofs, truck accessories, stereos, and alarms. In just three years, Odyssey had outgrown its original location and moved into a 4,000 square foot highway location in Mountain Lakes, NJ. 

In 1982 a local hospital using a Suburban for the paramedic response unit contracted Odyssey to design and construct a new type of vehicle that would allow for more flexibility and dependability than the emergency vehicles produced by commercial truck shops. The job required a dependable heavy-duty electrical system, emergency lighting, custom paint, reflective lettering, interior control console, and custom cabinets to hold the various emergency medical support equipment. Odyssey found a new niche that was quickly extended into the fire chief and command market. 



With the newfound focus on emergency and specialty vehicles, Conversions By Odyssey, Inc. changed to "Odyssey Automotive Specialty, Inc." The name "Odyssey" was becoming synonymous with high quality, dependable emergency vehicles. 

As the demand for Odyssey's premier vehicles grew exponentially, Odyssey expanded in 1990 to an off highway, 15,000 square foot manufacturing facility with a large showroom and multiple offices. This new facility enabled Odyssey to increase capacity and apply its unique expertise to large trucks and vans, trailers, fire trucks, ambulances and other large vehicles. Odyssey's customer list expanded to include State and Federal agencies and the firm gained new expertise in specialized technologically advanced, covert vehicles.

With demand continuing to grow, the company expanded its to 20,000 square feet, allowing Odyssey to operate multiple vehicle production lines while simultaneously producing up to 1000 mail order cabinets per year. 


In 2015, the assets of Odyssey Automotive Specialty, Inc were purchased by First Priority. First Priority Emergency Vehicles is one of the world’s leading manufacturers and distributors of a comprehensive array of firefighting, emergency medical, specialized rescue and mobile health vehicles and equipment. First Priority Emergency Vehicles has an extensive global foot print, executing transactions in 21 countries. First Priority has received such awards as 2013 Presidential E Award for Export Excellence and Think Global’s 2010 exporter of the year.

First Priority Emergency Vehicles


As part of the First Priority Global family Odyssey now has access to unparalleled resources in an industry comprised of small regional operations. Odyssey customers may now have their vehicles serviced at any one of First Priority's service centers and Specialty Vehicles can be included as part of a bundled solution of vehicles with Fire trucks, ambulances, and heavy rescues.   

 

First Priority has invested significant resources to prepare Odyssey's operations for a significant domestic and overseas expansion and to continue Odyssey's tradition of innovation and technological expertise. Additionally, First Priority brings the managerial oversight and resources to build Odyssey into a global provider of emergency vehicles and components and has dramatically strengthen Odyssey's day-to-day operations and longer-term strategic growth with rigorous financial oversight, manufacturing best practices, and access to new and broader markets.