(CNN) -- When a classmate started choking on a Cheeto during lunch Wednesday, Tyler Hudson took action.
Tyler, a fourth-grader from Frank Elementary School in Houston, Texas, quickly performed the Heimlich maneuver to save the girl's life.
"I put my hands around her under her arms," he told KHOU on Thursday. "It was just instincts."
After three squeezes from Tyler, the girl swallowed the Cheeto. Now Tyler is being hailed as a hero.
"We're all very proud of him," said Theresa Scardino, the school's associate principal.
Tyler told KHOU he didn't know exactly what the Heimlich maneuver was called. He referred to it as "the hammer," a move that his father, a Houston firefighter, would use on him during their playful wrestling matches at home.
"I was like, 'How did you learn to do that?' " Rodney Hudson said. "And he was like: 'You, daddy. You.' "