An Eckville Area author will see her debut book in stores at the end of the month.
Lillian White’s Barbie Band-Aid features a collection of short stories based on her time as an oil field medic.
The stories share White’s own experience working in the patch as well as events she has witnessed and stories she has been told over the years.
“There’s some cutesy kind of stories like a naked medic tanning on her roof out in a drill rig location,” said White in a phone interview, “but then there’s the serious side of it and I guess I tried to come up with a more humorous approach to the seriousness of what is going on out here.”
White spent many years on an ambulance before heading out to the oil fields for eight years, where she found the standards of care were not up to the level she was used to.
White says the oil companies don’t care who is sitting on location as long as a “warm body” is there the companies feel as though they are doing their due diligence of having first aid available.
“I started seeing all these events unfold and I tried for a long time to change it, raise that standard, because it was being set so low so long ago and [had] never been raised,” said White, adding “pretty blondes” don’t have any issues getting a job as a medic.
With Barbie Band-Aid, White hopes to raise awareness around what really goes on out in the oil patch and change it.
She is also looking to share what being an oil field medic really means.
“I think it’s important for young girls that have heard about coming out to work in the oil patch,” explained White. “I’d like to reach out to them and let them know they don’t have to comply with the consultants and what the other guys are saying.”
“I think a lot of naive girls that don’t really understand what’s really going on can get caught up in that and I just want them to know that they don’t have to be alone.”
The book took four years to write and about a year to get published.
White says her biggest concern with the book was her family reading it because the stories are “quite disturbing”
The first time published author describes the book as a look at the abuse of power and influence throughout the oil and gas industry and the medics who go out there without fully knowing what they are getting into.
“People are going to read that and they’re going to know, or start realizing, what really goes on out there in that oil patch,” said White of the awareness she hopes to spread through the book.
She also hopes young girls start to learn and understand the importance of being a medic.
“It should make no difference whether you’re sitting in an ambulance or you’re sitting on location, we should all be proud that we worked hard for our license, we worked hard to get where we’re at and be proud of the fact that you’re emergency medicine,” said White.
Amongst the bad, she said, there are good, hard-working medics as well as good consultants who care deeply about their jobs.
“This book’s not about them,” said White. “I applaud those who stick to their standards of medical care and do their best job possible.”
Barbie Band-Aid is available for purchase at major book stores and online July 31.