RACINE, Wis. — A 9-year-old elementary school student in Wisconsin performed the Heimlich maneuver on a classmate as her friend choked on food.

On Tuesday, Essie Collier, a fourth grader at Racine’s Fratt Elementary School, noticed one of her classmates was in distress during lunch. Students ate lunch in the classroom that day so residents could vote in the lunchroom.

“I just saw that she was holding her neck, and I rushed up there as fast as I can,” Essie said.

Samantha Bradshaw, her teacher said Essie wrapped her arms around the student and began performing the Heimlich. Within seconds her classmate’s airway was cleared, and the girl was breathing fine.

“I have never seen a student react in that way before,” Bradshaw said.

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When Essie was 7, she said, she watched a YouTube video and learned the technique, and the lesson stayed with her.

The Racine Unified School Board plans to honor Essie at a board meeting in late November for her heroism.