PERKASIE, Pa. (CBS) — Middle school lunches are always a little bit chaotic, but early last week at Pennridge North Middle School in Perkasie, the normal confusion turned frightening.

“I saw him go like this repeatedly,” said 6th grader Brian Kennedy, referring to the sign for choking.

In the middle of the lunchroom, Kennedy saw his friend, Ryan Shire, give the sign that he couldn’t breathe. The two were eating the cafeteria’s meal of the day: cheese sticks.

“His face was reddish-purple, so I ran over to him and I gave him the Heimlich maneuver,” Kennedy said.

Brian had learned the maneuver in fifth grade and in Boy Scouts, but he never had to do it before. He says when he saw his friend choking, he knew exactly what he had to do.

Even the assistant principal was impressed.

“Brian was just sitting there eating his lunch like nothing happened,” said Matt Cole. “It was pretty amazing.”

“He is a hero to me because I feel like he really saved my life,” said Ryan Shire. “And without him, I probably would’ve passed out.”

Ryan and his family made a donation to Brian’s Boy Scout troop as a way of saying thanks.

Reported by Oren Liebermann, CBS 3

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