APEX, N.C. -- A 9-year-old girl is being called a hero after she jumped into action to save a toddler from drowning at the pool.

According to NBC affiliate WRAL in Raleigh, N.C., Zully Fernandez rescued her 2-year-old cousin Noe after he slipped into the water.

The 9-year-old told WRAL that she and other kids were playing at a community pool when the accident happened. Fernandez said Noe had been in the pool for several minutes before she noticed he was "floating on top of the water." That's when she spotted him, pulled him out and called for help.

"I thought he was dead," the girl said.

Through a translator, Fernandez's mother said she was amazed that her daughter was so brave and acted so quickly.

Because of her actions, she was honored by the Apex Police Department, along with a couple who performed CPR on the boy before EMS got to the scene.

WRAL reported that Noe is OK and was home with his family. As for Fernandez, she said she planned to give her cousin a big hug the next time she sees him.