The Franklin County Sheriff's Office (FCSO) uses a customized Communication Technician Exam consisting of two main portions. The first portion is an eight-minute speed test that simultaneously assesses for detail orientation, multitasking, and listening skills. The second portion is a 70-question situational judgment test (SJT) designed to assess the ability to read, follow instructions, use reasoning, interpret jurisdictional maps, and make judgments in various work-related situations.
During the speed test, you will compare two 17-digit strings of letters and numbers and determine whether they are the same string or different. As candidates complete these comparisons, they will listen to an audio recording. The recording will randomly announce names. Candidates will look for the names among a list of names and indicate when the name appears on the list. During this speed test, candidates are not expected to complete the comparisons of the strings; however, they should accurately finish as many as possible while marking the names that are called out.
The SJT presents candidates with hypothetical situations they might encounter in the workplace and asks them to choose the most appropriate course of action from a set of multiple-choice options. The goal is to evaluate the candidate's ability to make sound decisions and handle various work-related situations effectively.
The exam presents candidates with information about FCSO Communications Center, policies, procedures, and instructions. Candidates do not need to know FCSO practices or procedures beyond what is provided in the test booklet.
For this exam, follow the guidance or instructions provided in the exam booklet. While some candidates may be aware of other policies or procedures, do NOT rely on that information for this exam. In part, this exam assesses your ability to read and follow the instructions provided.
Read the prompt and scenario thoroughly. Take your time to understand the details of each situation. Consider all the relevant information provided.
Evaluate the options. Once you've understood the scenario, review the multiple-choice options. Each option represents a different course of action you could take.
Choose the most appropriate response. Select the option that is the most effective and suitable for addressing the given situation.
Avoid overthinking. The scenarios are designed to reflect common workplace challenges. Trust your judgment and choose the response that aligns with your instincts and professional experience.
Consider the context. Keep in mind the specific context of the scenario. Your response should consider the people involved, the nature of the problem, and relevant policies or procedures.
Types of situations presented during the Communications SJT
Answering Emergency Calls. These situations are emergency calls that you are handling as an emergency call-taker. General policies and procedures are provided. Most of the questions require you to understand the type and level of the emergency and to make judgments regarding how to handle the situation.
Dispatching Emergency Resources. As a communications technician, you will make decisions to dispatch deputies. You are given some criteria to consider when making these decisions. Consider the situation, the criteria, the available deputies, and select the best dispatch option.
Communication Center Situations. Employees of often navigate high-stress situations. Teamwork is key for effective response to calls for emergency assistance. Employees must be able to communicate effectively with both coworkers and callers. Employees must also adjust to situations that may change rapidly. These situations typically involve activities in the Call Center. Use your judgment and experience to select the most appropriate and effective responses.
Situations involving Interactions with Coworkers. These questions present you with situations that you could encounter that involve coworkers. Use your judgment and experience to select the most appropriate and effective responses.
Use of the Phonetic Alphabet. Communication Technicians must often give verbal directions and convey names or addresses that could easily be misspelled. A phonetic alphabet is used to ensure accuracy and clarity in audio transmissions. This section of the test provides the phonetic alphabet used and asks situational questions about the use of the phonetic alphabet.
Interpreting and Using Jurisdictional Maps. Dispatch to specific locations in the County. Communications Technicians must read maps to decide whether to dispatch deputies, or local police or forward the call to another agency to dispatch.
Be prepared to look at street maps with jurisdiction boundaries. Understand which streets or intersections are within which jurisdictional boundaries. Understand the cardinal directions of north, south, east, and west.
This test section will assess your ability to read a map and determine who should dispatch a call from a specific location. For each set of these map questions, you will reference segments of the Franklin County Engineer’s Street Map. You will also be given the expectations of handling calls from various Franklin County jurisdictions. For these situational questions, you will integrate this information and the maps to determine the most appropriate response.
Example Situational Question
You are a team leader, and one of your team members consistently fails to meet deadlines. Other team members have expressed frustration and it's affecting the overall productivity of the team. What would you do?
A. Speak to the team member privately to understand the challenges they are facing and offer support.
B. Reprimand the team member publicly to set an example for others.
C. Report the issue to upper management without discussing it with the team member.
D. Ignore the problem and hope it resolves itself over time.
Please choose the option that you believe is the most appropriate response to the given scenario.